03:53 GMT27 January 2020
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    US President Barack Obama said in a Thursday interview he is proud of the fact he did not order military strikes against Damascus in 2013 after the Syrian government reportedly crossed a "red line" by allegedly using chemical weapons.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In 2013, Syria placed its chemical weapons program under international control on Russia’s urging in the wake of a chemical attack in Damascus that killed more than 1,300 civilians.

    "I’m very proud of this moment," Obama told The Atlantic Magazine. "The fact that I was able to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in America’s interest, not only with respect to Syria, but also with respect to our democracy."

    Obama added that he told Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in St. Petersburg in September 2013, that if Moscow forced the Syrian government to get rid of its chemical weapons the United States would forego a military strike.

    Last week, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons against civilians as a US-Russian brokered cession of hostilities came into effect.

    The US Department of State said the United States was unable to substantiate Israel’s allegations.


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