U.S. President Barack Obama denied to directly respond to a question on whether he would go ahead with the military operation in Syria in case Congress refused to approve it.
“The use of the Assad regime of chemical weapons constitutes a threat to international security”, Obama told reporters during a press conference held at the conclusion of the Group of Twenty summit in St. Petersburg.
“The use of chemical weapons threatening the security of Syria neighbors, including Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Israel”, he added, pointing out that it runs the risks of destabilizing the Middle East as a whole and the possibility that chemical weapons reach the hands of terrorist groups.
Obama also stressed the need to respond to the use of chemical weapons in Syria , noting that the ‘no reply’ would send the wrong signal to other authoritarian regimes.
He stated that he respects the principle of non – use of force without the UN Security Council approval, but this principle is not effective in light of the inability of the Security Council to act.
The US president indicated that there is a consensus among the Group of Twenty countries that chemical weapons were used in Syria, claiming that the majority of G20 states believe that they were used by the Syrian authorities.
Turning to his bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the G20 summit sidelines, Obama said that the discussions between them were constructive and that he agreed with Putin that the only way to resolve the Syrian crisis is through a political transition based on what was agreed in Geneva last year.
Moreover, Obama denied the reports revealing that he had asked the Pentagon to prepare an extensive list of targets in Syria, saying that these reports are “incorrect”.
He added that he had discussed with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff “limited and proportionate response” in Syria.
Source: Al Manar