Syria hailed an “historic American retreat” on Sunday, mockingly accusing President Barack Obama of hesitation and confusion after he delayed a military strike to consult Congress.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said tests showed Damascus had used using deadly sarin gas in a chemical weapons attack, and expressed confidence that Congress would do “what is right” in deciding on a response.
With Obama drawing back from the brink on Saturday, France said it could not act alone in punishing President Bashar al-Assad for the August 21 attack, making it the last remaining top Western ally to hesitate about bombing Syria.
Assad said Syria was capable of confronting any external attack, but left the 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.