Obama warns Assad not to use chemical weapons


“The world is watching. The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable,” US President Barack Obama warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, even as the United Nations said it was pulling out “all non-essential international staff.” Speaking before the National Defense University in Fort McNair, Obama declared, “I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and anyone who is under his command…if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons there will be consequences and you will be held accountable.” The statement was in apparent reaction to information that Syrian forces were preparing to use chemical weapons. According to intelligence reports, there were “signs of activity at chemical weapons sites,” the New York Times said. A Syrian foreign ministry spokesman has insisted however that it would “never, under any circumstances, use chemical weapons against its own people, if such weapons exist.” The crisis has worsened in Syria where about 40,000 have been killed in close to two years of conflict that has spilled over to neighboring countries.

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Additional detais are on BBC News.

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