Monday, April 10, 2017

Obama official: 'We always knew' Assad kept some chemical weapons

Obama official: 'We always knew' Assad kept some chemical weapons: A former Obama official acknowledged Sunday that the U.S. always knew an agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad did not clear all chemical weapons out of Syria, despite the fact that the administration touted the deal as an unequivocal success at the time. We always knew we had not gotten everything, that the Syrians had not been fully forthcoming in their declaration, Tony Blinken, a former deputy secretary of state and former deputy national security adviser under Barack Obama, told the New York Times. John Kerry, then Obama's secretary of state, and Susan Rice, Obama's national security adviser, had both touted a 2013 agreement with Russia, Syria and the U.S. that was designed to rid the Assad regime of its chemical weapons stockpile. Kerry said in 2014 that they deal had resulted in Syria purging 100 percent of its chemical agents.