President Obama’s “red line” in Syria still stands, asserted White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest today after he was questioned about reports that President Assad is using chlorine bombs against his own people.
“Yes. That red line is absolutely still in place,” Earnest said, when questioned about Obama’s 2012 warning to Syria.
Earnest cited international experts who reported that Assad’s chemical weapons stockpile had been destroyed, thanks to Obama’s negotiations with Russia.
Chlorine weapons are an “important distinction” from chemical weapons, Earnest explained, pointing out that chlorine has “legitimate purposes,” suggesting that it would be difficult for the administration to demand that Assad eliminate chlorine from his country.
He added that Assad’s attacks were horrific and consistent with his reign of terror over his people.
“What we’ve insisted upon is that the outrageous, catastrophic, violent behavior of the Assad regime that’s been perpetrated against the Syrian people should come to an end,” he said. “That includes the use of chlorine to try to attack people.”