Everyone waiting for an “October surprise” from the Middle East has tended to focus on Israel and Iran. But earlier this week, U.S. intervention in Syria’s civil war was put on the table — by President Obama.
Unlike in Libya, where potential mass killings of civilians by forces loyal to then-dictator Moammar Gadhafi prompted Europe and the U.S. to side with the rebels, Syria’s 1.5-year-old conflict has already claimed 20,000 lives, more than half of whom reportedly were civilians. Monday, in a rare Q&A session with the White House press corps, Obama warned both sides in the conflict against using weapons of mass destruction:
We have communicated in no uncertain terms with every player in the region, that that’s a red line for us, and that there would be enormous consequences if we start seeing movement on the chemical weapons front, or the use of chemical weapons. That would change my calculations significantly.
It was the strongest indication from Obama yet about what it