Said Assad, “For us, a strong man prevents rather than starts a war … Obama is weak because he is facing pressure from within the United States.”
Assad also continued to deny using chemical warfare, stating, “Those who make accusations must show evidence. We have challenged the United States and France to come up with a single piece of proof. [Presidents] Obama and Hollande have been incapable of doing so.”
Despite Assad’s comments, the White House has reported near certainty that the Syrian government has used banned chemical weapons in its fight against rebel forces, killing men, women and children.
In an interview with the TV show “Face the Nation” Sunday, Secretary of State John Kerry said, “Each day that goes by, this case is getting stronger. I mean, today I’m at liberty to tell you that we now have samples back from first responders in East Damascus — those samples of hair and blood have been tested, and they have reported positive for signatures of sarin. So, we are now getting a stronger case each day. The credibility of the United States is on the line here and I believe that Congress will do the right thing.”
While Obama is awaiting Congressional response to decide what action to take against Syria, Assad has said, “For us, a strong man prevents rather than starts a war. If Obama was strong, he would have said publicly: ‘We have no evidence of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian state.’”
Kerry said that Obama would not “put boots on the ground” at the moment, but that the president is committed to helping Assad’s opposition. Kerry did not comment on whether any covert operations were planned. However, Obama has reportedly already employed a cell of 50 CIA-trained rebels to join the fight against the Syrian regime.