U.S. intelligence: Syrian government undertook deadly chemical attack
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. intelligence community believes that a chemical weapons attack ordered by the Syrian government Aug. 21 killed at least 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, an intelligence document says.
“The United States government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on Aug. 21,” the report issued Friday says. “We further assess that the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.”
The report is based on spies, intercepts and satellites, as well as video evidence the world has already seen, it says.
“We intercepted communications involving a senior official intimately familiar with the offensive who confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime on Aug. 21 and was concerned with the U.N. inspectors obtaining evidence,” the report said.
It added, “We have intelligence that leads us to assess that Syrian chemical weapons personnel … were preparing chemical munitions prior to the attack.”
Secretary of State John F. Kerry called the attack “a crime against humanity.”
“Our intelligence community has carefully reviewed and re-reviewed information regarding this attack and I will tell you it is more than mindful of the Iraq experience,” Kerry added. “We will not repeat that moment.”
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