Remember When Obama Claimed He Got All The Chemical Weapons Out Of Syria?
Reports on Tuesday revealed that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies again targeted civilians in a deadly attack where chemical weapons were used. The attack is the worst chemical attack in the six-year Syrian civil war.
Rewind back to the fall of 2013, when the Obama administration was working with Syrian and Russian leaders to ensure that Assad’s stockpile of chemical weapons would be turned over and destroyed. A deal was reached, and the Obama administration and fellow Democrats applauded the achievement. The deal was reached after President Barack Obama drew his now infamous “red-line,”where he threatened military action against Assad if he used chemical weapons.
For several years, Democratic lawmakers and Obama administration officials touted that Syria turned over “100 percent” of its chemical weapon stockpile.
“It turns out we are getting chemical weapons out of Syria without initiating a strike,” Obama said.
“We struck a deal where we got a hundred percent of the chemical weapons out,” then Secretary of State John Kerry said.
The Obama White House even tweeted out a statement promoting their achievement.
In May 2015, Bloomberg reported that Assad used chemical weapons after the Obama administration declared that Syria turned over all their chemical weapon stockpile. Obama dismissed the report and said that chlorine isn’t “historically” considered a chemical weapon. After the report, Obama administration officials continued to say that Syria turned over all their chemical weapons.
Then White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest went on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and said four times that Assad didn’t have a chemical weapon stockpile.
“Right now, Bashar al-Assad doesn’t have a declared chemical weapon stockpile,” Earnest said in September 2015.
Before leaving office, Obama was asked in a “60 Minutes” interview if he would have done things differently when it came to Syria.
“Would you take it back?” Steve Kroft of “60 Minutes” asked Obama, referring to the red-line comment.
“I would have, I think, made a bigger mistake if I had said, ‘Eh, chemical weapons. That doesn’t really change my calculus.’ I think it was important for me as president of the United States to send a message that in fact there is something different about chemical weapons,” Obama said. “And, regardless of how it ended up playing, I think– in the Beltway, what is true is Assad got rid of his chemical weapons.”