An internal memorandum circulating within the Obama administration has assessed that chemical weapons, most likely the nerve gas sarin, were used multiple times in battle against the
The “intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year,” according to that memo, as cited by The New York Times.
White House officials speculated over evidence that nerve gas had been used as of April, but that evidence is now being called “definitive” – with Congressional sources describing the conclusion as crossing the “red line” for US military intervention or backing as previously defined by the president.
forces and protect refugees, officials said.
A no-fly zone would not require the destruction of Syrian antiaircraft batteries, according to the accounts cited in American media. The White House could alternatively authorize the arming and training of the Syrian opposition in Jordan without a no-fly
In a conference call to reporters on Thursday, the White House said that the intelligence community estimates that as many as 150 people, or about 0.16 per cent (0.0016) of the 93,000 reported deaths in the Syrian conflict, could have been a result of chemical weapons used by pro-Assad forces.
The White House said during the same call that the US “will make decisions on our own timeline" regarding the next steps on Syria. President Obama will consult with G8 partners, including Russia, about Syria next week.
“The President must rally an international coalition to take military actions to degrade Assad’s ability to use airpower and ballistic missiles and to move and resupply his forces around the battlefield by air,” said a joint statement by the pair.
June 13, 2013
Last updated at 21:09 /
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