- uploaded: Jun 14, 2013
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American officials say they have confirmed that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the insurgency seeking to remove it, asserting that the move crosses a "red line." The US is now on the record as considering military support.
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 Syrian rebels.
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.
"The president has made a decision about providing more support to the opposition, that will involve providing direct support to the (Supreme Military Council), that includes military support," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters on a conference call on Thursday.