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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Chemical arms use in Syria game-changer: Obama

Iran Press TV

Tue Apr 30, 2013 5:52PM GMT

US President Barack Obama has said the use of chemical weapons is a “game-changer” in Syria, but the United States does not know when or by whom they were used in Syria.

Speaking at a press conference in the White House on Tuesday, Obama expressed caution about recent intelligence reports about the use of chemical weapons in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, saying he must make sure about the facts before deciding how to respond.

"If I can establish in a way that not only the United States but also the international community feel confident in the use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime, then that is a game-changer," he warned.

"By game changer, I mean we would have to rethink the range of options that are available to us…. Obviously, there are options that are available to me that are on the shelf right now that we have not deployed,” he explained, saying he has already consulted the Pentagon and the CIA on the possible options.

Obama also repeated his threats against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying that his government has lost credibility and should step down.

US, Israeli and British officials have said there’s evidence that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons in its fight against the foreign-backed militants.

Syria has dismissed the allegations as false and fabricated, demanding an investigation to be conducted by Russian experts into the alleged use of chemical weapons.

A spokesman for the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has also rejected what Israeli and Western officials refer to as evidence for failing to meet the standard of proof needed for the United Nations.

The White House had previously described any use of chemical weapons in Syria as a "red line," which could trigger possible military action.

Syria has been gripped by a deadly unrest since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of government security forces and army personnel, have been killed in the violence.

Damascus says the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants are foreign nationals.


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