U.S. weighs claim of chemical weapons
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday expressed caution about new claims by Israel that Syria's government has used chemical weapons against rebels.
U.S. officials said they are evaluating whether President Bashar Assad's regime has employed chemical weapons — a step that President Obama has said could trigger direct U.S. involvement in the civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people.
“We support an investigation. We are monitoring this,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. “We have not come to the conclusion that there has been that use. But it is something that is of great concern to us, to our partners and obviously unacceptable, as the president made clear.”
Two senior Israeli military officials asserted that forces loyal to Assad deployed chemical weapons in several incidents that killed dozens of rebel fighters and civilians.
The officials told reporters in Israel that their evidence — including photographs showing victims foaming at the mouth — made them “nearly 100 percent” certain.
“To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against gunmen in a series of incidents in recent months,” said Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, chief of the research division of Israel's army intelligence.
A second senior Israeli military officer, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said chemical weapons appear to have been used in five cases.
He said “dozens” were killed in the attacks when a “sarin-type” chemical was dispersed.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace
- Liberia has 1st Ebola death since being deemed free of disease in September
- Vatican puts 5 on trial for leaks
- Pakistani doctor who led CIA to bin Laden stuck in prison
- ISIS claims hotel attack in Egypt
- Philippines reappraises hoard of Marcos jewelry
- Tunisia put under state of emergency
- Settlement spat surfaces as Kerry visits Jerusalem
- Official: Paris attacks organizer was planning more carnage
- Using cellphones, Pakistan makes inroads in war against polio
- Belgium police arrest 21, Paris fugitive still at large