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Engineering Consent For Attack On Syria

Syria Has Used Chemical Weapons: Chuck Hagel

By AP

April 25, 2013 "
Information Clearing House" -"AP
" - US defense secretary Chuck Hagel says the Syrian regime has likely used chemical weapons on a "small scale." Hagel was speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi. He says the White House has informed members of Congress that, within the last day, US intelligence concluded with "some
degree of varying confidence"
that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons - specifically sarin gas.

Hagel says, quote, "It violates every convention of warfare."

President Barack Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "game-changer" in the U.S. position on intervening in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.

 

US Plays WMD Card

Game Changer: U.S. concurs Syria used chemical weapons

By Kevin Baron

April 25, 2013 "Information Clearing House" -"FP" - White House officials notified Congress today that the U.S. believes Syria used sarin gas on its own people, crossing President Obama's "red line" in a potentially game changing acknowledgement that could draw the U.S. into the Syrian civil war.

"It violates every convention of warfare," Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, in making the announcement public on Thursday, while visiting the United Arab Emirates. 

The announcement comes days after an Israeli general during Hagel's visit earlier this week declared that Syria had used chemical weapons, which followed similar declarations from Britain and France. Hagel and U.S. officials, put on the spot, previously said U.S. intelligence was inconclusive.

"As I have said, the intelligence community has been assessing information for some time on this issue, and the decision to reach this conclusion was made in the past 24 hours," Hagel said, "and I have been in contact with senior officials in Washington today and most recently the last couple of hours on this issue."

"We cannot confirm the origin of these weapons, but we do believe that any use of chemical weapons in Syria would very likely have originated with the Assad regime."

Miguel Rodriguez, director of the Office of Legislative Affairs, in a letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., wrote, "Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin."

Rodriguez cautioned that President Obama would require further investigation of the evidence before deciding how to react, but said the U.S. remains "prepared for all contingencies" to respond to any "confirmed" use of chemical weapons.

"No option is off the table," he wrote.

"However, precisely because the president takes this issue so seriously, we have an obligation to fully investigate any and all evidence of chemical weapons use within Syria," he wrote. "Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned form our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient -- only credible corroborated facts that provide us with some degree of certainty will guide our decision-making, and strengthen our leadership of the international community."

The White House said the assessment was made from "physiological samples," but cautioned "we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditons."

On Wednesday, McCain sent a letter to Obama demanding a straight, and public, answer on Syria's chemical weapons use, co-signed by Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Bob Menendez, D-N.J., Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga, Bob Casey, D-Penn., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H. 

See also

Rebels say: ‘Clear proof chemical weapons used’: Rebels say: "We took some samples of the soil and of blood. The injured people were observed by doctors and the samples were tested and it was very clear that the regime used chemical weapons,” General Salim Idriss told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Claims that Syria has used sarin gas should be treated with caution: Evidence must be made public: If it is true that the UK and French governments have soil samples that show sarin has been used, they should not only be shared with UN investigators but the chain of evidence showing how they came to have the samples must made public.

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