Obama Warns Syria Not to Use Chemical Weapons

White House, allies weigh options to secure stockpiles

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Dec 3, 2012 5:40 PM CST

(Newser) – President Barack Obama warned Syria today that the use of chemical weapons would be "totally unacceptable" and that the country's leaders would be held accountable. Backing up earlier comments by Hillary Clinton, Obama said that if Syrian President Bashar Assad made the "tragic mistake" of deploying chemical weapons, there would be consequences. Obama stopped short of detailing those consequences. Obama's comments came as US officials said intelligence had detected Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days. Click for more details.

Meanwhile, another AP story reports that the White House and its allies are weighing military options to secure Syria's chemical and biological weapons. Options now being considered range from aerial strikes to limited raids by regional forces to secure the stockpiles, according to a current US official and a former US official briefed on the matter. The administration remains reluctant to dispatch US forces into Syria, but a US special operations training team is in neighboring Jordan, teaching troops there how to safely secure such sites together with other troops from the region, the officials said.

President Barack Obama speaks at  the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium being held at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.
President Barack Obama speaks at the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) symposium being held at the National Defense University at Fort McNair in Washington, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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