US: Syria Used Chemical Weapons
NYT: Obama now convinced after new intelligence assessment
By John Johnson, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2013 4:43 PM CDT
A solider at a checkpoint near the Syria-Lebanon border.   (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

(Newser) – The Syrian war seems to have tipped lately in favor of Bashar al-Assad, but here's one development with at least the potential to change things: The US has concluded that Syria used chemical weapons on a small scale multiple times, reports the New York Times. President Obama has long said that would be a game-changer—he called it a "red line"—though he never spelled out exactly what the consequences would be. That is now the subject of fierce debate within the administration, says the Times.

The new finding comes from US and European intelligence analysts citing a slew of evidence, including sarin found in the hair samples of dead rebel fighters. The memo estimates that up to 150 people have been killed by chemical weapons, and the analysts found no evidence that anti-government forces used any. The development follows criticism of the administration for being too tentative on Syria from Bill Clinton. Other nations including Israel, France, and Britain have previously concluded that Assad used chemical weapons, but Obama had been holding out for definitive proof. He now believes he has it, officials tell the newspaper. Meanwhile, the UN estimates that the Syrian death toll is at least 92,900.

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Jun 16, 2013 11:36 AM CDT
Strange how Obama decides Syria used chemical weapons when he is up to his eyeballs in scandals.
Jun 14, 2013 11:33 AM CDT
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Jun 14, 2013 6:44 AM CDT
Chicken-hawk Billary Clinton squawks about arming the Islamists of Syria and next thing you know, its a done deal. Chicken-hawk Bilary Clinton must have been in Watford, England last week, where his masters the Bilderberg cult were having their annual orgy. Pity a drone strike wasn't called in on them. World would be much better today if it was. The Syrian genocide would be over very soon if it had.