U.S. President Barack Obama defended his policies regarding the Syrian crisis during a private meeting before Congtessional recess.
Obama rejected the idea that arming Syria rebels in the early days of the ongoing war may have reduced the number of victims and the catastrophic consequences in Syria, arguing that arming the rebels earlier wouldn’t have prevented the three-year crisis.
The U.S. President was angry with American lawmakers who questioned his actions towards Syria on Tuesday, according to a member of Congress who talked to the Daily Beast.
According to the Congress member, Obama dismissed the idea that providing the Syrian armed opposition with weapons in 2011 would have prevented the ongoing humanitarian crisis.
“The president still feels very strongly that we are deluding ourselves if we think American intervention in Syria early on by assisting these rebels would have made a difference,” Rep. Elliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who said he entered the meeting after the exchange, told The Daily Beast. “He still believes that. I disagree, respectfully. They were not looking for U.S. troops, they were looking for help and the Syria civil war started with the most noblest of causes.”
Recently, Obama faced criticism for not arming the Syrian rebels, after Hillary Clinton broke with the Obama administration’s stance and said the “failure” to do so created a power vacuum for Islamic jihad.
“The failure to help build up a credible fighting force of the people who were the originators of the protests against Assad—there were Islamists, there were secularists, there was everything in the middle—the failure to do that left a big vacuum, which the jihadists have now filled,” Clinton said.
Source: ARA News, Agencies
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