U.S. President Barack Obama threatened Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against using or moving weapons of mass destruction. Obama said the U.S. is preparing a 'range of contingency plans' should Assad ignore his warning.
President Barack Obama on Monday threatened U.S. military action against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, warning in the strongest terms yet that any attempt to deploy or use chemical or biological weapons would cross a "red line" for the United States.
Pointing out that he had refrained "at this point" from ordering U.S. military engagement in Syria's bloody conflict, Obama said that there would be "enormous consequences" if Assad failed to safeguard his weapons of mass destruction.
It was Obama's most explicit language to date on the prospects for military intervention, and he warned Syria not only against using its unconventional weapons, but against moving them in a threatening fashion.
"We have been very clear to the Assad regime, but also to other players on the ground, that a red line for us is (if) we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized," Obama said. "That would change my calculus.
"We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people," Obama told an impromptu White House news conference. He acknowledged he was not "absolutely confident" the stockpile was secure.