Syria's acceptance of Russia's proposal that it turn over chemical weapons is a direct result of the threat of a U.S. military strike, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney insisted Tuesday.
"We see it as a clear result of the pressure that has been put on Syria, by the fact that the president has been moving forward and taking his proposal that we engage in limited strikes against Syria in response to Syria's use of chemical weapons against a civilian population," Carney said on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."
Saying there is still "ample reason to be skeptical" of Syria's commitment to turning over is chemical stockpile, Carney added, "It is undeniable the responsibility for that attack rests with the [Syrian President Bashar] Assad regime."
Despite the new development on the diplomatic front, Carney said President Barack Obama's would still lay out his case for a potential U.S. military action against Assad in retaliation for his reported use of chemical weapons against his own people, including more than 400 children.
"He will go forward tonight and make the case to the American people, as well as to Congress, as he has been, that what happened on August 21st was a chemical weapons attack with terrible consequences; that it is undeniable the responsibility for that attack rests with the Assad regime; and that the international community, in this case led by the United States, cannot stand by and allow that international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons to unravel before our eyes," Carney said.
"He understands that this is a very tough situation, a difficult vote [for the Congress], where a country that is weary and wary of war after a dozen years of it," he said.
"He's going to make the case that this is not boots on the ground. It's not Iraq. It's not Afghanistan. It's not even Libya. It's a limited, focused strike that would seriously degrade Assad's capabilities, when it came to his potential to use chemical weapons in the future, and certainly deter him from using them in the future," Carney added.
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