The US will respond to a chemical attack allegedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar Assad last week, though what form the response will take is still being discussed in Washington, the US ambassador to Israel said Thursday morning.
In an interview with Israel Radio, Dan Shapiro said that US President Barack Obama was consulting with officials and allies before a final decision on how to act is made.
“There will be a strong and serious response,” Shapiro said in Hebrew, but evaded several inquiries as to whether the US will take military action against the Assad regime. The ambassador reiterated that President Obama still hasn’t decided whether or not to launch an air campaign against Syria, but reassured the Israeli audience that “there will be a response at the correct time.”
On Wednesday, President Obama declared unequivocally that the United States has “concluded” that the Syrian government carried out a deadly chemical weapons attack on civilians.
“We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out,” Obama said during an interview with “NewsHour” on PBS. “And if that’s so, then there need to be international consequences.”
Despite the run-up to what many speculate will be a series of strikes on Damascus, intelligence officials on Wednesday and Thursday began to voice concerns over whether there was enough proof to link Assad’s regime to the attack, which killed hundreds east of Damascus last week.