The White House pointed to the Obama administration’s refusal to follow through with a military strike against Syria after a chemical weapons attack in 2013.
The White House accused the previous administration of shortcomings leading to the chemical weapons attack in the Idlib province of Syria on Tuesday that killed dozens of people, including children.
“Today’s chemical attack in Syria against innocent people, including women and children, is reprehensible and cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday. “These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administration’s weakness and irresolution.”
“President (Barack) Obama said in 2012 he would establish a red line against the use of chemical weapons and then did nothing,” he stated.
Spicer was referring to the Obama administration’s decision not to follow through with a military strike against Syria after a sarin gas attack near Damascus in 2013 was estimated to have killed over 100 people. Obama backed off after Russia volunteered to remove Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal.
“The United States stands with our allies across the globe to condemn this intolerable act,” Spicer asserted.
Israel Demands UN Intervention
Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon demanded international intervention.
“The world cannot be silent in the face of the horrific massacre in Syria and allow this devastation to repeat itself. The UN must act immediately to put an end to the use of any chemical weapons and ensure their removal from Syrian territory. This is the UN’s true purpose and it must fulfill this fundamental responsibility.”
The traditional US allies in Europe condemned the attack earlier in the day, primarily placing the blame on the Syrian regime.
“Today the news is awful,” said the European Union Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini.
“This is a dramatic reminder that the situation on the ground still continues to be dramatic in many parts of Syria,” she continued. “Obviously there is a primary responsibility from the regime because it has the primary responsibility of protecting its people.”
France called for an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council to respond to Tuesday’s attack. The Syrian army, however, denied having any role in the attack.
“We deny completely the use of any chemical or toxic material in Khan Sheikhoun town today and the army has not used nor will use in any place or time, neither in past or in future,” the Syrian army stated.
By: Jonathan Benedek, World Israel News