Barack Obama lost international credibility when he decided against attacking Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in 2013, former US defense chief Chuck Hagel said in a damning appraisal of his former boss.

In his first lengthy public remarks since being forced from the top Pentagon position in February, Hagel aired a series of gripes against Obama, including that leaders around the world lost confidence in the US president after he backed down from attacking Assad.

In August 2013, Obama said publicly that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would be a “red line.”

After the Syrian leader used the weapons against his own people anyway, Hagel finalized plans to launch cruise missiles against the Damascus regime.

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