US warns Assad over use of chemical weapons against Syrians

Last Updated: Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 10:21

Washington: The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would face significant consequences for using chemical weapons against his own people, the White House has warned.

"Our warnings about any consideration of the use of these weapons were extremely clear and stark. Our promise of significant consequences should the Assad regime go down that road were very clear and stark, and they remain in place," the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters at his daily news conference yesterday.

The United States stands on the side of the Syrian people, said the State Department spokesperson, Patrick Ventrell, at a news conference.

"We have from the very beginning of what started as a peaceful protest moment. We think that the vast majority of Syrians want a free, democratic, just future; a peaceful, unified, democratic Syria; and so that`s absolutely what we`re looking for," Ventrell said.

"There are a small minority of extremists who are trying to hijack the revolution for their own aims, and we don`t agree with them, and that`s why we thought it was important to marginalise them, to sanction them, and we stand by our decision," he said.

The State Department spokesman said now is the time for Russia to work with the international community to support the Syrian people.

"The Syrian people are watching very closely the Russian position to see if they will stand with them. We think that the transition to a post-Assad future is inevitable," he said.

Ventrell said the United States wants Russians to play a more constructive role, cease its support for the Syrian regime, wind down its support and work with it on the road map that provides for a managed political transition.

"It`s absolutely clear that the tide is turning against Assad, and we`re on our way toward a post-Assad future," he added.


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First Published: Saturday, December 15, 2012 - 10:19

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