Obama's Uncertain Path Amid Syria Bloodshed

10/23/2013 11:46 am ET
  • MARK MAZZETTI, ROBERT F. WORTH and MICHAEL R. GORDON The New York Times
AP

WASHINGTON — With rebel forces in Syria in retreat and the Obama administration’s policy toward the war-ravaged country in disarray, Secretary of State John Kerry arrived at the White House Situation Room one day in June with a document bearing a warning. President Bashar al-Assad of Syria had used chemical weapons against his people, the document said, and if the United States did not “impose consequences,” Mr. Assad would see it as a “green light for continued CW use.”

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