U.S. claims its evidence implicates Assad for chemical weapons
Friday, August 30, 2013 - 01:44
Aug. 30 - The U.S. vows to not let Syria get away with last week's alleged chemical weapons attack. Nathan Frandino reports.
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WARNING-STORY CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES
STORY: The U.S. is laying out its case for action in Syria.
Secretary of State John Kerry says the administration has enough evidence to blame President Bashar al-Assad for last week's alleged chemical weapons attack.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY SAYING:
"We know rockets came only from regime-controlled areas and went only to opposition-controlled or contested neighborhoods."
His declaration comes as a new White House report says the attack killed more than 1,400 Syrian civilians, including more than 400 children.
The report was based in part on intercepted communications among senior Syrian officials.
The attack was revealed in an online video that Reuters cannot independently verify.
The video appeared to show men, women and children panicking in streets outside Damascus, following by victims struggling to breathe on the floors of a medical clinic.
The U.S. is leading calls for some type of intervention, including missile strikes.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA SAYING:
"We are looking at the possibility of a limited, narrow act that would help make sure that not only Syria, but others around the world, understand that the international community cares about maintaining this chemical weapons ban and norm."
Haim Malka of the Center for Strategic and International Studies says the U.S. is in a difficult position either way.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HAIM MALKA, DEPUTY DIRECTOR AND SENIOR FELLOW OF MIDDLE EAST PROGRAM AT THE CENTER FOR STRATEGIC AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES, SAYING:
"If it uses force unilaterally against Syria, it will be criticized for using unilateral force in the Middle East. If it doesn't do anything, it will be criticized for standing by while the Assad regime uses chemical weapons."
Critics say any military intervention at all will only further destabilize the region.
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