The latest comments from National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster suggest that the Obama administration knew Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria possessed a stockpile of chemical weapons despite claims that they had a made a deal with the regime to get rid of them.
Top officials of the Obama administration have been known to regularly boast during the second term that they had secured a deal with the Syrian regime to remove all of their chemical weapons. In 2014, then-Secretary of State John Kerry claimed that the deal made sure the Syrian forces removed “100 percent of the declared chemical weapons out of Syria.”
The administration rejoiced at the deal as it took pressure off them after Obama failed to support his “red line” policy. Implemented in 2012, the “red line” policy, ensured swift military action against the Syrian regime if Assad used chemical weapons on his own people. After reports emerged that Assad did use chemical weapons in 2013, Obama failed to respond, significantly weakening the United States’ position in the Middle East. Hence, the deal to get Assad’s chemical weapons out of his hands, became Obama’s out.
In 2014, fact-checking website Politifact rated Kerry’s claim as “mostly true.”
However, there has been confirmation from UN investigators that the chemical used to kill dozens of Syrian civilians last week, was sarin – a chemical that President Obama and his top officials assured the world, did not exist in Syria following the deal that supposedly removed all of the Assad regimes chemical stockpile.
On the contrary, comments from National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster last week, regarding the US missile strikes, raised a few eyebrows regarding the former administration’s deal with Syria.
“And the one thing that I will tell you though, there was an effort to minimize—to minimize risk to third-country nationals at that airport—I think you read Russians from that—but that—and we took great pains to try to avoid that. Of course, in any kind of military operation, there are no guarantees. And then there were also measures put in place to avoid hitting what we believe is a storage of sarin gas, so that that would not be ignited and cause a hazard to civilians or anyone else,” McMaster said.
The American Interest was quick to realize the anomaly:
“If this strike was arranged to avoid hitting sarin storage facilities, the question arises: did the Obama Administration know that such depots still existed after its “historic” deal that supposedly removed all Syria’s chemical weapons?”
Sean Keeley at the American Interest observed:
“In Congressional testimony last February, Obama’s Director of National Intelligence James Clapper acknowledged “gaps and inconsistencies in Syria’s declaration,” validating reports that Syria was still hiding banned chemicals at undisclosed locations. And on its way out the door in January of this year, the Obama Treasury quietly introduced new sanctions against Syrian officials involved in chemical warfare. Buried in the language sanctioning a particular official was a telling admission: “As of 2016, Abbas has continued operating at locations in Syria associated with chemical warfare-related missions.”
Whether or not the Obama Administration knew of this particular sarin facility, then, they clearly knew that Syrians were still clinging to their stockpiles at several locations. They knew what Adam Garfinkle has been saying all along: that Obama’s deal to remove chemical weapons was not a historic diplomatic triumph but an un-enforceable sham that the Syrians and Russians never intended to comply with.”
Despite the evidence, leftists have been awfully credulous about the Obama administration’s claim of having rid Syria of banned chemical weapons. However, numerous former Obama admin officials have been quick to support President Trump’s actions in Syria, which goes on to show that they knew the deal our former president took so much credit for was nothing but a sham.