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In response to reports by Syrian opposition leaders Wednesday, that chemical weapons were used in the embattled country for the second time this year by the Syrian army killing 1,300 people, the U.S. has proved again that it has done very little to set up its red line, says an expert.
“In two years, beyond a speech we have not given a single negative tool except for some financial sanctions to help convince [President of Syria Bashar] Assad that he is not going to achieve his goals,” Barry Pavel, the vice president of the Atlantic Council, a Washington based think tank, told the International Business Times.
President Barak Obama has set red lines in the past but Pavel says that the statements had no teeth to them.
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In March Obama said, “we will not tolerate the use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, or the transfer of those weapons to terrorists.”
This past May at a joint press conference with Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president said he reserves the right to take additional steps such as diplomatic or military action on Assad for his use of unconventional weapons.
“Apart from chemical weapons, we know that tens of thousands of people are being killed with artillery and mortars and that the humanitarian crisis and the slaughter that is taking place by itself is sufficient to prompt strong international action,” Obama said.
Pavel however said the U.S. has done nothing to deter Assad, adding that the U.S. needs to take more action by implementing and enforcing a no-fly-zone as well as arming and training rebel forces that do not have connections with Islamists.