Hagel: Syria Likely Used Chemical Weapons
Defense secretary says sarin gas probably used on 'small scale'
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2013 10:56 AM CDT
Updated Apr 25, 2013 11:39 AM CDT
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies on Capitol Hill, in Washington, Tuesday, April 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

(Newser) – Have we crossed the red line? US intelligence has concluded with "some degree of varying confidence" that Bashar al-Assad's regime has used chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel told reporters in Abu Dhabi today, per the AP. The determination apparently came within the past day, and the White House has informed Congress. Hagel says sarin gas was likely used on a "small scale." "It violates every convention of warfare," the AP quotes him as saying. CNN's report make things sound a bit more conclusive: In its telling, Hagel announced that the US has evidence of Syria's use of chemical weapons.

But the New York Times' take is less certain (its headline: "US Unsure of Chemical Arms Use by Syria"; it also uses the word "suspects" to describe the US position on the matter). The NYT has more details on the letters sent to congressional leaders, which say the US needs more "credible and corroborated facts" before deciding how to proceed. For example, the government does not yet know how victims were exposed to chemical weapons in Syria, but believes Assad's regime is likely to blame, the letter says. The Times also has confirmation from John Kerry, who also said the US has determined chemical weapons have been used in two incidents.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Scott603
Apr 28, 2013 6:25 PM CDT
Why is chemical weapons a red line? Oh he kills 10,000 people conventionally that's okay but if 10 die from chemical weapons we have to move in? Why? And how does a nation that dumped DU all over Iraq, then lied to start an illegal war that killed a million people have the gall to lecture Syria?
kawahchan
Apr 28, 2013 12:05 PM CDT
(R) 2014 & 2016 Gov. RICK PERRY Report: We Republicans, Republican Congress & Senate think that the Barack Obama administration led Pentagon can consider to send their Democrat's tickets -- their Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual soldiers to Syria to see how their combat capacity to experience the chemical warfare. This mission is a BIG job for Secretary of State John Kerry. VERY BIG JOB !!
clmsman
Apr 26, 2013 12:21 PM CDT
Are they out of their minds another intervention in the middle east. If they do I want Obama's daughters and McCain to lead the first wave. Maybe if they had that on their backs they might think second about sending other people's children to die in this hell hole. I could give a rats ass if he gasses all his people its none of our business its an internal civil war.