Amman: The Syrian government led by President Bashar al Assad is potentially using the chemical weapons against innocent Syrian people which has substantially increased international concernabout the Syrian regime. The US President Barack Obama said this on Friday in Jordan’s capital, Amman.
President Obama said that the potential use of chemical weapons by the ruling regime of Syria against its people “adds increased urgency” to international concern about the regime.
Speaking to reporters during meeting with King Abdullah of Jordan, Obama noted that reports of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government are preliminary. That information, he said, “does not tell us when they were used, how they were used.”
Obama said, “Obviously, horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law. And that is going to be a game-changer.”
On Tuesday, the Israeli military published intelligence findings that President Assad’s forces have used chemical weapons repeatedly in recent months. Part of Israel’s concern, and Obama’s, is that those weapons could fall into terrorist hands.
Two days later, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US believes “with some degree of varying confidence” that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons, specifically the nerve agent sarin, against its people.
A letter from the White House to Congress said that the assessment was based on “physiological samples” but called for a United Nations probe to corroborate it and nail down when and how they were used.
The White House said on Thursday that the US believes the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, an act that President Obama has previously said would be crossing a “red line.”
The president spoke after the Deputy Foreign Minister of Israel said that world powers may now conclude there is “no avoiding” action to take control of the Assad regime’s chemical stockpile.
British Prime Minister David Cameron also said that there is limited but growing evidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical agents.
Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger of Maryland, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said on Friday that “every option is on the table” but stressed that “we want to do everything we can to avoid putting boots on the ground.”
Sen. John McCain, R.-Ariz., said on Thursday that the Obama administration should consider a military approach but not commit American troops. He suggested providing weapons to trusted parts of the Syrian resistance.
The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, and an estimated 70,000 people have been killed so far.