In Israel, Obama Warns Syria on Chemical Weapons
On Iran, says there's still time for diplomacy to work
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 20, 2013 4:08 PM CDT
President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu huddle during their joint news conference in Jerusalem.   (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

(Newser) – Maybe the most newsworthy item out of President Obama's news conference today with Benjamin Netanyahu centered on Syria, not Israel. Obama said the US is investigating claims that chemical weapons were used in Aleppo, and he warned that Bashar al-Assad will be held accountable if he employed them, reports Reuters. "I’ve instructed my teams to find out precisely whether this red line was crossed," said Obama, using language the New York Times described as "surprisingly strong in tone." The president added that he was "deeply skeptical" of the Assad regime's claims that it was rebels who used chemical weapons. (It remains unclear whether either side used them.)

Obama also reaffirmed Israel's right to defend itself—"each country has to make its own decisions when it comes to the awesome decision to engage in any kind of military action"—and he said "there is not a lot of daylight" between US and Israeli assessments on Iran's nuclear program, reports USA Today. Netanyahu said he is "absolutely convinced that the president is determined to prevent Iran from getting nuclear weapons." While he stressed Israel's right to act independently, Obama said there's still time for a diplomatic solution. The trip isn't expected to yield much in terms of concrete policy.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Tuthinadvertizing
Mar 20, 2013 9:32 PM CDT
OK suppose the al-Qaeda that Berry supports did use chemicals? Notice no one has a plan about what to do about that. If Assad is going to be held responsible, why no talk about Berry being held responsible for the al-Qaeda he supports using chemical weapons. I think if Berry's gang of terrorist did use chemicals, then Berry would be guilty of a war crime and should be arrested by anyone and everyone. The nations highest ranking general should command whatever forces are needed to place Berry under arrest as a domestic terrorist, and do whatever it takes to debrief him and get the names of all is connections. All of his connection should be arrested. This would number into the 10's if not 100's of thousands of traitors. Put them all in there own FEMA camps. Many of them, that are responsible for the Iraq invasion should be given death penalty.
KimKendall
Mar 20, 2013 7:56 PM CDT
what does obama mean teams? is he sending in specialists without the permission of syria? since the rebels are a construct and supported by the US wouldn't he naturally deny rebels use? would isreal supply the technological background to mix chemical weapons to draw america in? YES obama is a dutiful lackey to israel
sobe
Mar 20, 2013 7:49 PM CDT
Yeah, the defense department deployed them.