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September 24, 2013 12:26 pm

Obama Calls Denial of Syrian Regime’s Chemical Weapon Use an ‘Insult to Human Reason’

avatar by Zach Pontz

Syrian victims of chemical weapons attack. Photo: Wikipedia.

U.S. President Barack Obama criticized members of the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday for not taking a greater role in stopping the bloodshed in Syria, and dismissed allegations that rebels fighting there were responsible for a deadly chemical weapons attack in August.

“It is an insult to human reason – and to the legitimacy of this institution – to suggest that anyone other than the regime carried out” the chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus last month that left more than a thousand Syrians dead, Obama said.

The U.S. and Russia reached an agreement earlier this month whereby an American strike on Syria would be averted if President Bashar al-Assad relinquishes the country’s chemical weapons stockpile to the international community. The agreement, Obama said, “should energize a larger diplomatic effort to reach a political settlement within Syria. I do not believe that military action – by those within Syria, or by external powers – can achieve a lasting peace.”

Obama also clarified that the U.S. had no interest in dictating who the next leader of Syria would be, but that Assad, a “leader who slaughtered his citizens and gassed children to death cannot regain the legitimacy to lead a badly fractured country.”

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“There’s no Great Game to be won, nor does America have any interest in Syria beyond the well-being of its people, the stability of its neighbors, the elimination of chemical weapons, and ensuring it does not become a safe-haven for terrorists,” the U.S. president said.

Click here to read about Obama on Iran.

Click here to read about Obama on Israel.

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