“I actually think that the issue that required the most political courage was the decision not to bomb Syria after the chemical weapons use had been publicized and rather to negotiate them removing chemical weapons from Syria,” he told online publishing platform Medium during an interview released Monday.
“Now, we know subsequently that some remained, so it was an imperfect solution. But what we also know is that 99 percent of huge chemical weapons stockpiled were removed without having to fire a shot,” the former president claimed.
The Syrian government turned over its entire chemical stockpile under a deal negotiated by Russia and the United States back in 2013.
The country’s stockpile of chemical weapons was surrendered in a joint mission comprising representatives of the UN and the OPCW in 2014.
Obama’s pitch was supposed to contrast with the rash response by Trump, who recently ordered an airstrike against an airbase under the control of the Syrian government after reports of a chemical attack blamed on Damascus, which argues it was a false flag.
Obama asserted that in the US, “you generally get praised for taking military action, and you’re often criticized for not doing so.”