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      Syrian Officials Gloat: Obama Defeated Before War Began

      Syrian official mocks Obama administration over airstrike delay as Syrian PM threatens.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 9/1/2013, 9:28 AM

      Obama in Rose Gardem with VP Biden
      Obama in Rose Gardem with VP Biden
      Reuters

      Syria’s Deputy Prime Minister, Kadri Jamil, has given a television interview mocking the United States over U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to wait for approval from Congress before carrying out airstrikes in Syria.

      U.S. action was thought to be imminent last week after chemical weapons were used in Syria – a situation that Obama had previously described as a “red line” for his administration.

      Speaking to Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeem, Jamil said Obama “was defeated before the war began.”

      America’s “muddled” position on airstrikes “has made a mockery of the U.S. administration all over the world,” he said, adding, “Previous administrations never cared about public opinion, Congress or allies.”

      Jamil mocked the Syrian rebel fighters, who had hoped for a U.S. intervention that would weaken the Assad regime. “For them this popular saying applies: You brought us halfway to the water well, then abandoned us,” he taunted.

      In the meantime, Syrian Prime Wael al-Halqi made new threats in case of Western intervention in Syria.

      “The Syrian army is fully ready, its finger on the trigger to face any challenge or scenario that they wanted to carry out,” the AFP news agency quoted al-Halqi as saying.

      A second, unnamed official said that Syria is “ready to retaliate at any moment.”

      Syria officials did not limit themselves to threatening America and Israel. A Syrian response would target other countries, as well, they said, in an apparent threat against Arab nations that support intervention.

      Syrian state media publicized a list of possible targets Saturday that included sites in Turkey and Cyprus.