Peres: If Syria acts credibly over chemical weapons, US won't take military action

President says world "cannot stand silently by" at bloodshed taking place in Syria.

Shimon Peres portrait 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Shimon Peres portrait 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
President Shimon Peres on Tuesday weighed into the ongoing debate on Syria's chemical weapons, saying he believed that the US would not attack the Assad regime if it acted in good faith.
"The central issue now is credibility," Peres said during a visit to the Plasson factory at Kibbutz Ma'agan Michael. "If Syria behaves with credibility and takes genuine steps to remove and destroy its chemical weapons, then the United States will not attack."
"The world cannot stand silently by in light of the bloodshed and child murder currently taking place in Syria," Peres said, a day after President Barack Obama signaled he would be willing to give a Russian compromise proposal on Syria's chemical weapons a chance.
"Diplomacy is always a more preferable option to war, but the main issue now is the credibility of the Syrian regime," Peres continued. "If Syria is reliable, and takes genuine steps to remove and destroy its chemical weapons, the US will not attack. If, however, there is a crack in Syria's credibility, I have no doubt that the US will take military action - and there would be no way back. Syria already can no longer go back to being what it once was - the civil war and terrorism have split Syria into several pieces, several states."
Obama has repeatedly stressed his belief that the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad merits a military response.
But in an address to the American people from the White House on Tuesday nigh, the president said he was willing to delay such a move to allow room for proposals on the disposal of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by the international community.