eMediaWorld.com Reports Kerry: ‘High Confidence’ That Syria Government Responsible For Chemical Attack That Killed At Least 1426 People
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement on Friday that U.S. intelligence concluded with ‘high confidence’ that the Assad regime in Syria is responsible for the chemical attack in the suburbs of Damascus. Kerry added that the U.S. estimates at least 1429 Syrians were killed in the attack, 426 of them children.
Kerry laid out some of the evidence U.S. intelligence has put together and shared with members of Congress and international allies.
According to U.S. intelligence, Assad has the largest chemical stockpiles in the region, used those weapons multiple times this year and was determined to push out the opposition out of the Damascus suburbs. Kerry added that the U.S. established where the rockets were launched from and where they landed. He also said the U.S. believes senior Syrian officials confirmed the use of chemical weapons in the suburbs.
Yet Kerry urged American citizens to review the information — some of which is unclassified – themselves. “Read for yourselves,” Kerry said.
Kerry also suggested the U.S. does not need a mandate by the U.N. Security Council to act. The U.N. can’t tell us anything that we don’t already know,” Kerry said, referring to the work of U.N. inspectors in Damascus. “The U.N. can’t galvanize the world to act as it should,” he added.
The Secretary of State reiterated that any military action would be limited, and will not be able to turn the war in Syria.
Kerry’s announcement came in the wake of a British Parliamentary vote against military intervention.
Britain’s parliament voted 285-272 against a proposal by Prime Minister David Cameron to undertake action against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “It is very clear tonight that while the House has not passed a motion, it is clear to me that the British parliament, reflecting the views of the British people, does not want to see British military action – I get that and the government will act accordingly,” Cameron said, according to Reuters.
U.S. officials had suggested after the vote that the Obama administration is considering striking without British backing. The AP notes that Obama’s National Security Council spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, said the administration would continue consulting international partners but would make decisions based on “the best interests of the United States.”
Britain will not join any armed action in Syria after parliament voted 285-272 against a motion by Prime Minister David Cameron to authorize a military response in principle.