The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Breaking News

April 25, 2013

Hagel says Syria has used chemical weapons

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates —  U.S. intelligence has concluded "with some degree of varying confidence," that the Syrian government has used sarin gas as a weapon in its 2-year-old civil war, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Hagel, speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi, said the White House has informed two senators by letter that, within the past day, "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."

"It violates every convention of warfare," Hagel said.

No information was made public on what quantity of chemical weapons might have been used, or when or what casualties might have resulted.

President Barack Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "game-changer" in the U.S. position on intervening in the Syrian civil war, and the letter to Congress reiterates that the use or transfer of chemical weapons in Syria is a "red line for the United States." However, the letter also hints that a broad U.S. response is not imminent.

White House legislative director Miguel Rodriguez, who signed the letter, wrote that "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."

The letters went to Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., and Carl Levin, D-Mich.

The assessment, Rodriguez says, is based in part on "physiological samples."

He also said the U.S. believes that the use of chemical weapons "originated with the Assad regime." That is consistent with the Obama administration's assertion that the Syrian rebels do not have access to the country's stockpiles.

In Washington, McCain quoted from the letter the White House sent to several senators who had pressed the administration about Syria's possible use of chemical weapons.

"We just received a letter from the president in response to our question about whether Assad had used chemical weapons," McCain told reporters following a closed briefing with Secretary of State John Kerry on Syria and North Korea.

___

 

1
Text Only
Breaking News
Featured Ads
More Resources from The Herald Bulletin
AP Video
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Helium debate
Helium
Front page
Poll

About 70 houses in the city will be demolished with a federal loan initiative administered by the state. How many more houses in the city do you think need to be razed?

At least 70 more
200 to 500 more
1,000
None
     View Results