Monday, September 2, 2013
"(Reuters) - Syria hailed a "historic American retreat" on Sunday, mockingly accusing President Barack Obama of hesitation and confusion after he delayed a military response to last month's chemical weapons attack near Damascus until after a congressional vote.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said tests had shown sarin nerve gas was fired on rebel-held areas on August 21, and expressed confidence that U.S. lawmakers would do "what is right" in response.....
With Obama drawing back from the brink, President Bashar al-Assad reacted defiantly to the threat of Western retaliation, saying Syria was capable of confronting any external strike.
He left his most withering comments to his official media and a junior minister.
"Obama announced yesterday, directly or through implication, the beginning of the historic American retreat," Syria's official al-Thawra newspaper said in a front-page editorial.
Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad accused Obama of indecision. "It is clear there was a sense of hesitation and disappointment in what was said by President Barack Obama yesterday. And it is also clear there was a sense of confusion as well," he told reporters in Damascus....."