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Former President Barack Obama addresses an audience after being presented with the 2017 Profile in Courage award during ceremonies at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum Sunday, May 7, 2017, in Boston. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Obama said his most courageous decision was to not bomb Syria


Former President Obama defended his decision to refrain from bombing Syria in 2013 even after President Bashar al-Assad had crossed the so-called "red line" and used chemical weapons, Time reported. He described his decision of non-intervention as one that required the most "courage."

"I actually think that the issue that required the most political courage was the decision not to bomb Syria after the chemical weapons use had been publicized and rather to negotiate them removing chemical weapons from Syria," he told Jack Schlossberg, grandson of President John F. Kennedy, the day he received the Profile in Courage award from the Kennedy Presidential Library.

The 44th commander-in-chief said presidents are often lauded for employing military action and condemned for non-intervention. 

"It was an imperfect solution," Obama added. "But what we also know is that 99 percent of huge chemical weapons stockpiled were removed without us having to fire a shot."

Obama's comments addressing the lack of military action in 2013 surface one month after President Trump launched 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian air base after a chemical attack killed 70 people dead, including children. Ultimately, that decision was praised by military officials and lawmakers.

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