US confirms use of chemical weapons by Syrian regime
WASHINGTON - The United States White House Wednesday confirmed the chemical weapon use of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime.
Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes released a written statement in regards to chemical weapon use in Syria.
"Following a deliberative review, our intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin, on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year," Rhodes said.
"Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information. The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete," he stated.
"The use of chemical weapons violates international norms and crosses clear red lines that have existed within the international community for decades. The president has said that the use of chemical weapons would change his calculus, and it has," Rhodes emphasized.
"The president has made a decision about providing more support for the opposition and will be providing further support to the SMC (Supreme Military Council) and that includes providing military support. I can't detail what types of support yet Obama has 'not made any decision' to pursue a military option such as a no-fly zone and has ruled out the deployment of U.S. ground troops" he added.
The White House said it would take decisions on how to proceed "on its own timeline" but would be discussing what to do with allies at the G8 to be held in Ireland next week.
Friday, June 14, 2013