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US President: US monitoring chemical weapons in Syria

Other News Materials 21 August 2012 00:09 (UTC +04:00)
US President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States was monitoring chemical weapons in Syria, and there would be "enormous consequences" if it detects an increase in movement by the Damascus regime, dpa reported.
US President: US monitoring chemical weapons in Syria

US President Barack Obama said Monday that the United States was monitoring chemical weapons in Syria, and there would be "enormous consequences" if it detects an increase in movement by the Damascus regime, dpa reported.

Obama said while he had not ordered military engagement in Syria, a "red line" would be crossed "if we start seeing a bunch of chemical weapons being moved around." That would "change my calculus," he told reporters at the White House.

He reiterated that the US and other world powers have called for the resignation of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who "hasn't gotten the message." Instead, Obama said al-Assad had "doubled down" in violence against his own people.

The US continues providing aid to Syrian refugees to ensure their presence doesn't destabilize neighbouring countries and has provided some assistance to the Syrian opposition with an eye toward a political transition in the country, Obama said. He said the likelihood of a "soft landing" in Syria now seemed "distant."

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