Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria
Explore this page to learn more about President Obama's response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria and get the latest news from the White House about the situation.
News and Updates
October 31: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons announced that it is confident no additional chemical agents or munitions can be produced in Syria, having finished the first phase of the elimination process by destroying Syria’s capacity to make chemical weapons.
September 14: Following up on his speech to the nation, President Obama discussed the possibility of a diplomatic solution in Syria, partially because of the credible threat of U.S. military force. In his weekly address, he said that Russia has joined the international community in pushing Syria to give up its chemical weapons.
In a statement, President Obama said he welcomed the progress made between the United States and Russia on a framework that provides the opportunity for the elimination of Syrian chemical weapons in a transparent, expeditious, and verifiable manner. Read the full statement
On September 10, President Obama addressed the nation on Syria.
As part of a briefing on the response to Syria, members of Congress were shown video taken in multiple locations near Damascus on August 21st, when more than 1,400 Syrians – including more than 400 children – were killed by a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Assad regime. It's important for the American people to have access to information about the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has released these videos, which were compiled by the U.S. Open Source Center.
Warning: These videos contain disturbing images of dead bodies, including children.
VIEWER DISCRETION IS ADVISED
On September 9, Ambassador Rice laid out the case for the damage that would be done to our national security and that of our partners and allies should we fail to respond to enforce the longstanding international norm against the use of chemical weapons.
On September 7, in his weekly address, President Obama makes the case for limited and targeted military action to hold the Assad regime accountable for its violation of international norms prohibiting the use of chemical weapons.
On September 6, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Samantha Power discussed the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians and the need for an international response.
On September 3, following his September 1 announcement, President Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House to discuss his plan for military action.
On September 1, President Obama laid out the case for a targeted military action against Syrian regime targets as a result of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons that killed over one thousand people--including hundreds of children. The President also made clear that this would not be an open-ended intervention, and there will be no American troops on the ground. Instead, our action would be limited in duration and scope.
The President has put forward a proposed authorization that is focused on his clearly stated objectives – preventing and deterring the use and proliferation of chemical weapons within, to, or from Syria; degrading the Assad regime’s capacity to carry out future chemical weapons attacks; and deterring this behavior in others – including Iran and Hizballah – who would otherwise feel emboldened to use such weapons.
While the President was clear on the need for action, he announced he would seek Congressional authorization for the use of force.
On August 30, Secretary Kerry delivers remarks on the situation in Syria in the Treaty Room at the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.
Unclassified assessment of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons
The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013
President Obama makes a statement about Syria
In a meeting with Baltic leaders, President Obama speaks about the situation in Syria.
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