A U.N. report detailing a chemical weapons attack in Syria had “changed the international opinion” on the actions of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, U.S. President Barack Obama said Tuesday.
While the U.N. report released Monday did not directly attribute blame as to who was responsible for the Aug. 21 attack which Washington says killed 1,400 people, Obama said it nevertheless proved everything his administration had been saying.
“Well, the U.N. process has now played itself out, the investigators have unequivocally said that chemical weapons were used,” Obama told the Spanish language Telemundo network.
“When you look at the details of the evidence they present -- it is inconceivable that anybody other than the regime used it.
“What that does I think is change the international dynamic. I think it changes international opinion on this issue,” Obama said.”
According to Agence France-Presse, Obama also said some U.S. allies had waited to commit to firm action against Assad for the report by United Nations inspectors who collected samples and evidence from the Damascus suburb where the attack took place.
Last week, Obama had been prepared to launch U.S. military action against Assad’s regime to punish him for the attack.
But the threats ended when an 11th hour U.S.-Russian deal was crafted stipulating that Assad handover his chemical arsenal to international control.
“My goal consistently here has been to make sure that we get those chemical weapons out so that nobody can use them,” Obama said.
“The first step right now is to make sure we can deal with the chemical weapons issue.
“The next step is to engage all the parties, not just Syria itself, but those countries that have been supporting Syria, like Russia, to say ‘We need to bring an end to this.’“
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