REUTERS/Khaled al-HaririFollowing the President's speech in the White House Rose Garden Saturday, where he announced he would defer to congressional debate before striking the Assad regime, members of the Syrian government wasted no time in hailing the move as a victory.
"Obama backed off of his decision. He must admit the victory of Syria," Sheikh Ahmad Badr Al-Din Hassoun, the Grand Mufti of Syria (the highest religious law official), told YNetNews, adding that Syria was winning "thanks to its leader, its people and its army, and this proved that the issue is not one of ethnic groups, but of homeland, which does not to yield to anyone except Allah."
In his speech, Obama said he was "ready to act," and challenged Congress to follow his lead. He maintained that he does not need to seek congressional approval to strike, citing the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons that killed approximately 1,400 of its own people.
"We lead with the belief that right makes might. Not the other way around," Obama said. " Now's the time to show the world that America keeps our commitments."
While many in Congress commended the president for allowing the issue to be debated, the Syrian Deputy Prime Minister told YNetNews it was "t he Syrian army's readiness [that] warded off U.S. aggression against Syria."
Although it's possible that Congress could be pulled back early, it's more likely that military action against Syria will come up for a vote the week of September 9th.
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