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What convinced Obama not to bomb Syria in 2013

Did Barack Obama really "chicken out" when it came to enforcing his "red line" against Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad after a 2013 sarin attack, as US neocons insist? According to investigative reporter Robert Parry, the US President had plausible reasons to step aside.

Washington's foreign policy establishment, dominated by neocons, has never missed a chance to lambast US President Barack Obama for not enforcing his "red line" against Bashar al-Assad back in 2013.

[...]

To illustrate the point, Parry quotes the latest article of Jeffrey Goldberg written for The Atlantic.

"Friday, August 30, 2013, the day the feckless Barack Obama brought to a premature end America's reign as the world's sole indispensable superpower," Goldberg remarks, referring to the events which followed the August 21 deadly sarin attack in the Damascus suburbs in 2013.

What has been remaining largely unnoticed for years is that fact that the "US intelligence was unsure whether Assad was responsible for the attack," Parry stresses.

It obviously gave Barack Obama pause for thought.

[...]

While US warmongering neocons leaped to a conclusion that it was Bashar al-Assad's military forces that launched sarin attacks against Syrian civilians, American intelligence professionals had serious doubts about Assad's alleged guilt.

Indeed, in his analysis for London Review of Books published in 2014, Pulitzer-prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh shed light on the tragic events revealing that intelligence officials had traced the attack to Islamists and the Turkish secret service.

"The joint chiefs also knew that the Obama administration's public claims that only the Syrian army had access to sarin were wrong. The American and British intelligence communities had been aware since the spring of 2013 that some rebel units in Syria were developing chemical weapons," Hersh underscored.

Remarkably, on December 14, 2015 Eren Erdem, a member of Turkey's main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), told RT that there was ample evidence that chemical weapons materials for the production of sarin gas had been delivered to Daesh in Syria via Turkey in 2013. He also claimed that the Turkish leadership was aware of these supplies.

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