Syria Mocks 'Historic American Retreat'
With President Barack Obama’s announcement on Saturday that he will, after all, go to Congress for authorization to use force against the Assad regime in Syria, Syria is celebrating. President Bashar al-Assad stated that Syria could confront any action from foreign nations; his official al-Thawra newspaper wrote, “Obama announced yesterday, directly or through implication, the beginning of the historic American retreat.” Meanwhile, Syria’s deputy foreign minister Faisal Mekdad said that there was “a sense of hesitation and disappointment in what was said by President Obama yesterday. And it is also clear that there was a sense of confusion as well.”
Both Britain and France have backed away from bellicosity against the Syrian regime in recent days, with the British parliament voting against action on Thursday, and the French interior minister explaining, “France cannot go it alone.”
With the West telegraphing its punch, the Assad regime is preparing contingencies, the Syrian rebels now say. “As days go by, more people get killed by the hands of this regime,” Mohammad Aboud, deputy commander of eastern joint command of the Free Syria Army told Reuters. “Further delay for action gives them a chance to change the position of their weapons. According to the intelligence that we have, we know that he exploits this delay to prepare for this strike.”