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Obama: Assad Must Show 'Concrete Actions' on Chemical Weapons

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U.S. President Barack Obama has welcomed the agreement the U.S. reached with Russia Saturday on a framework for eliminating Syria's chemical weapons, calling it "an important, concrete step."

But the president says there is much more work to be done. In a statement Saturday, he said the United States will continue working with its allies and Russia to ensure the process is verifiable, and that there are consequences if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government does not comply.

Obama reiterated a line from his weekly address Saturday that if diplomacy fails, the U.S. remains prepared to act.

The Obama administration blames the Syrian government for an August 21 chemical weapons attack that reportedly killed more than 1,400 Syrians. Mr. Obama pushed for military action against the government in response, but has put that on hold while pursuing this diplomatic path.

But the president said in his address, recorded Friday, that the U.S. is making clear that the Russian-led initiative for a diplomatic solution cannot be a "stalling tactic." He said Mr. Assad must take "concrete actions" to demonstrate he is serious about giving up his chemical weapons.

Obama said the possibility of a diplomatic solution is due in part to the "credible threat of U.S. military force," noting that Mr. Assad's regime would not admit to possessing chemical weapons a week ago, but "today, it does." 

Watch President Obama's weekly address:

Meanwhile, in this week's Republican address, Representative Diane Black of Tennessee called on the Senate to pass a bill to prevent fraud and abuse in Obama's health care reform law.

Watch weekly Republican address:

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Comment Sorting
by: Mathews from: USA
September 15, 2013 3:27 AM
OBAMA is depending on force and his military power and showing his intimidation to Syrian Government. A wise leader should be the one that is able to solve conflicts through peaceful means.
John Kerry was the one strongly opposed the Vietnam war, and John McCain was the one who suffering the fruit of war with many years in communist prison. Now both of them want going to war one man was coward and one was full up eating the fruit of war.
Why do they ignore who was actual suspect that did use the Chemical weapon? Why do they ignore the massacre of thousands of Christian and the latest at Christian Ancient Village more than 500 Christians were silently murdered by the rebels whom Obama has been supporting? Why the UN has not put this as the same account as the massacre by Chemical weapon?
The current Syrian regime they protect Christian and none religious groups while the one that Obama tries supporting is killing innocents and American soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya... is there a great madness, mystery or confusion?

by: Steve Froud from: A safe Bunker in a forest
September 14, 2013 11:34 AM
Oh steady on Obama!

You may be sending a really nasty and I mean nasty letter to Assad, expressing just how upset you are!

And if that doesn't work you can always send another nasty letter!


by: mambo from: TZ
September 14, 2013 10:51 AM
Putin should be given a peace prize medal
In Response

by: Anonymous
September 14, 2013 4:52 PM
Hahahaha that's a funny one. It was him that was enabling, allowing, defending, and lieing about, the genocide all along.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
September 14, 2013 10:48 AM
It's all to rant, to make noise and to boast of nothing. Now it's no longer the United States, it is now the international community. When somebody lies, he tends to repeat words and try to say the same things many times over and over again, trying to convince himself first and by that think he's able to confuse others. Is it 'credible threat of U.S. military force' or pretended use of force? But Syria now understands that the president is rooting to nothing and so is no longer intimidated - afterall Assad is setting the agenda of what happens before he reveals his chemical weapon - a red line. (I'm sure he's not going to trip over his own red line like Mr. Obama).

Russia has managed to avert the trouble and therefore allows the US to make as much noise as it wishes. The bottom line is, no action has been proposed except the one to be taken by Syria. No collateral action if Syria fails. The only threat now is to sue Syria to the security council that has been dead for as long as Russia has made it so. Sorry mr. president, your luck that Americans want you to get to the tip of your career as president Obama of USA.

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