Secretary of State John F. Kerry made a forceful case Friday for U.S. military intervention in Syria, saying that U.S. intelligence has information pinning responsibility for last week’s chemical weapons attack squarely on the government of President Bashar al-Assad.
In a speech at the State Department, Kerry said U.S. intelligence has “high confidence” that the Assad government was responsible for the attack based partly on knowledge of regime officials’ conversations about the attack and the tracking of movements of regime personnel before and after the strike.
Kerry said that for three days before the Aug. 21 attack, the Syrian government’s chemical weapons personnel “were in the area, making preparations” for the strike. He also said that “regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks” and taking other precautions. And he said U.S. intelligence knows that the rockets containing the poison gas were launched only from “regime-controlled areas.”
The attack killed 1,429 Syrians, including 426 children, Kerry said.
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