Judith Miller: Obama Warns Syria’s Assad Against Chemical Weapons

While the president’s stand against the use of chemical weapons is laudable, it begs the question: is the president willing to stand by while civilians are slaughtered by conventional weapons? — AA
by Judith Miller

December 4, 2012

Amid signs that the Syrian regime might be preparing to some of its vast chemical weapons stocks against insurgents who are growing stronger by the day, President Barack Obama warned Syria on Monday that the use of chemical weapons would be “totally unacceptable.”

Mr. Obama said that the use of such weapons by President Bashar al-Assad against his own people would have unspecified “consequences” for him and his beleaguered regime, stressing that they would be held “accountable” for such a “tragic mistake.”

“Today I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command: The world is watching,” President Obama said.

The president delivered his blunt warning — the starkest his administration has issued so far — in a speech at a conference at the National Defense University. He spoke at the close of a meeting of over 200 national security officials to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) program aimed at reducing the threat of weapons of mass destruction (WMD).

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