The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons several times in the two-year civil war ravaging Syria, the White House and Pentagon chief announced today (April 25, 2013), according to the Yahoo News website.
But officials at the White House said they want more time to examine the evidence and confirm beyond doubt the Assad regime crossed the all-important "red line" by using chemical weapons.
The accusation could have serious implications for U.S. policies toward Syria, and lawmakers from both parties argued today that additional action must be taken against Syria. President Obama had warned Syria over a year ago that if it used chemical weapons in its civil war, the U.S. would send troops to Syria to support the rebels.
"The U.S. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin," Hagel said. "In talking to our intelligence people over the last couple of hours, they have a reasonable amount of confidence that some amount of chemical weapons was used," Hagel added.