Defense

Ex-NATO supreme commander: Obama will look back in ‘shame’ on Syria

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A former NATO supreme allied commander is predicting that President Obama will regret not doing more to help the anti-regime opposition in Aleppo, Syria. 

“He’ll look back in deep sorrow and some shame,” Retired Navy Adm. James Stavridis said Wednesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” 

His comments come as the Syrian regime closed in on the besieged city. A ceasefire that began on Tuesday to evacuate the estimated 50,000 civilians inside the area still controlled by the rebels collapsed by Wednesday after a planned evacuation was delayed.  

{mosads}Reports and tweets from civilians trapped inside Aleppo have captured international attention, telling of mass executions by the regime and mass suicides by civilians fearful of capture by the regime, and calling for help from the international community. 

Stavridis, who was vetted as Hillary Clinton’s potential vice presidential pick, criticized Obama’s cautious approach to Syria, saying it sends a “very bad” message.

“It sends a very bad one, and so often our greatest strength is also our greatest weakness — and I think with President Obama one of his strengths is he’s deliberative, he’s cautious, but in this case he needed to move with more alacrity,” he said. 

After the Syrian uprising began in 2011, Obama called for Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave office, but later backed away from that call. 

He also warned Assad against using chemical weapons, but chose not to carry out planned military strikes against regime assets at the last minute. 

An estimated 470,000 Syrians have died in the Syrian civil war, with more than 11 million displaced from their homes. 

Tags Aleppo Assad family Bashar al-Assad Battle of Aleppo Hillary Clinton Politics of Syria Protests in Syria Syrian civil war
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