(WASHINGTON) — Former Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich made an alarming charge Tuesday against the Obama administration, which is in the throes of planning a military strike against Syria.
With the White House determined to punish President Bashar al-Assad’s regime for the alleged use of chemical weapons against the Syrian people, Kucinich told The Hill that the U.S. would in effect become “al Qaeda’s air force.”
The former lawmaker was alluding to the wide presence of Islamic militant groups who have joined rebel forces on the ground in Syria in their quest to depose al-Assad. However, al Qaeda has very different objectives from opposition forces who seek a pro-democratic, secular government.
According to Kucinich, “This is a very, very serious matter that has broad implications internationally. And to try to minimize it by saying we’re just going to have a ‘targeted strike’ — that’s an act of war. It’s not anything to be trifled with.”
In fact, Kucinich raised the possibility that the alleged chemical weapons attack that killed hundreds in a Damascus suburb might not have been perpetrated by the Syrian government, suggesting rebel forces also can’t be trusted.
“This is being used as a pretext,” he said. “The verdict is in before the facts have been gathered. What does that tell you?”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Stephen Collinson, CNN
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Stephen Collinson and MJ Lee, CNN