Weather United States Of America, Ashburn United States Of America, Ashburn +37°F

The Baylor Lariat

Blog

Obama: Syrian gov’t carried out chemical attack

Obama: Syrian gov’t carried out chemical attack
August 28
23:11 2013
FILE - This Aug. 25, 2013 file photo shows black columns of smoke rising from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood in East of Damascus, Syria. The Obama administration is sure about one thing: Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime must be punished after allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, possibly including sarin gas, to kill hundreds of its own people. U.S. and allies accuse Assad of crossing the red line that President Barack Obama said would have “enormous consequences.” That is now expected to trigger a military strike, limited both in time and scope, with the goal of downgrading and weakening Assad's regime _ but not topple him or destroy his forces.  (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

FILE – This Aug. 25, 2013 file photo shows black columns of smoke rising from heavy shelling in the Jobar neighborhood in East of Damascus, Syria. The Obama administration is sure about one thing: Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime must be punished after allegedly using deadly chemical weapons, possibly including sarin gas, to kill hundreds of its own people. U.S. and allies accuse Assad of crossing the red line that President Barack Obama said would have “enormous consequences.” That is now expected to trigger a military strike, limited both in time and scope, with the goal of downgrading and weakening Assad’s regime _ but not topple him or destroy his forces. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

By Deb Riechmann
Associated Press

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Wednesday declared unequivocally that the United States has “concluded” that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians last week.

Obama did not present any direct evidence to back up his assertions. He said he is still evaluating possible military options in retaliation for the attack that killed hundreds near Damascus, but vowed that any American response would send a “strong signal” to Syrian President Bashar Assad.

“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said during an interview with PBS’ NewsHour. “And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”

Earlier Wednesday, administration officials said they would take action against the Syrian government even without the backing of allies or the United Nations because diplomatic paralysis must not prevent a response to the alleged chemical weapons attack outside the Syrian capital. The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council failed to reach an agreement Wednesday on a draft resolution from the British seeking authorization for the use of force. Russia, as expected, objected to international intervention.

The president said he was not seeking a lengthy, open-ended conflict in Syria, indicating that any U.S. response would be limited in scope. But he argued that Syria’s use of chemical weapons not only violated international norms, but threatened “America’s core self-interest.”

“We do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable,” he said.

Laying out a legal justification for a U.S. response, Obama said Syria was violating the Geneva Protocols, an agreement signed in 1925 after World War I to ban the use of chemical gases. The White House has also cited the Chemical Weapons Convention, a 1992 agreement that builds on the Geneva Protocols by prohibiting the development and stockpiling of chemical weapons.

Latest Multimedia

Brothers Management

Click below to read the paper

Bear Briefs

Registration for Stompfest is now open for Greek and independent…

Phi Iota Alpha will serve free food from noon to…

The university is looking for individuals, organizations and programs who…

Do you have a desire to dust off your skates…

Baylor men’s basketball will take on McNeese State at 8:30…