Kerry: U.S. Confident that Assad Regime Carried out Chemical Weapons Attack

BY News Desk  August 30, 2013 at 3:16 PM EDT

Updated at 3:16 p.m. EDT Friday | Bookended by Baltic leaders, President Barack Obama said he hasn’t made any final decisions on what actions the U.S. will take, regarding Syria.”We’re not considering any open ended commitment. We’re not considering any boots-on-the-ground approach.” The president also said that his team has consulted with allies and Congress, and what’s under consideration is a “limited, narrow act.”

President Barack Obama on Friday addressed questions over Syria before meeting with the presidents of several Baltic states.


Updated at 1:20 p.m. EDT Friday | Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people and that the U.S. has “high confidence” that the regime carried out the chemical attack on Aug. 21 that reportedly killed 1,429 people.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday afternoon said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons on his own people multiple times this year.

As Kerry spoke, the White House released the government’s assessment of the Assad regime’s use of chemical weapons on Aug. 21.

The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013. We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack. These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the U.S. Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence — but what follows is an unclassified summary of the U.S. Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.

Read the complete assessment below: