U.S. concludes Assad's forces used chemical weapons in Syria
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons on a small scale against rebel fighters in Syria's civil war, the White House said on Thursday.
The assessment, which followed President Barack Obama's demand for conclusive proof after U.S. intelligence analysts determined earlier this year that chemical weapons had likely been used, could put pressure on Washington to respond aggressively to the crossing of what Obama himself had called a "red line."
"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," Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, told reporters.
"Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information," he said. "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."
- White House reverses, says Obama met uncle and lived with him during law school
- South Africa mourns Mandela, will bury him on December 15 |
- RPT-UPDATE 1-Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image
- Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai
- Microsoft leads disruption of largest infected global PC network
Revered by millions as a beacon of hope against oppression and as an archetype of reconciliation, Nelson Mandela leaves behind a grieving nation. Video