Syria crossed President Obama’s red line on chemical weapons two months ago, a move that prompted swift American action, reporters were surprised to hear from the State Department spokeswoman.
“Well, the redline has been clear,” Psaki told reporters during the press briefing Thursday. “I know there’s been some confusion about this. The red line is the use of CW, the use of chemical weapons. That was crossed a couple of months ago. The president took action, which we talked about at the time.”
That came as news to the press. “But you guys didn’t take any action the first time,” a reporter countered.
“We did take action,” Psaki insisted. “We did — we’re not going to outline the inventory of what we did. That remains the same as it was a couple of months ago. But the President acted. We crossed a red line. It did change the calculus, and we took action, and we have the opportunity, or the option, to do more if he chooses to do more.”
CBS described Obama’s “action” following the first chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime in a Thursday report on the latest apparent chemical weapons assault.
“When proof of Assad’s chemical weapons use did emerge two months ago, the president promised to widen the scope and scale of aid to the armed rebels,” CBS noted. “Those weapons have not arrived, leading to more questions about the Obama administration’s policy.”