Government releases Syria chemical weapons assessment
August 30th, 2013
01:26 PM ET
1 year ago

Government releases Syria chemical weapons assessment

Washington (CNN) - Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that Syrian officials made preparations for chemical weapons use for three days prior to the August 21 attack, and that rockets were launched from areas controlled by the Syrian regime and landed in areas controlled by the opposition or contested.

Kerry said the American intelligence community has "high confidence" in what he called evidence and facts that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, adding that "the questions is what are we ... in the world going to do about it."

He spoke as the government released an assessment by the U.S. intelligence community of the alleged August 21 attack.

"We assess with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out the chemical weapons attack against opposition elements in the Damascus suburbs," the report said.


Filed under: John Kerry • President Obama • State Department • Syria • White House
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    Do nor worry of Syria.

    August 30, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. kirk

    They have denied it, I remember when Saddam refused to let un weapons inspectors in to see his facilities, he used there being a u.s. spy on the team,. Years later we learn he was correct.sad but true, often we are our own worst enemy

    August 30, 2013 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    I say , send in seal team 6 and drag the loser to The Hague !!!!

    August 30, 2013 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  4. truth hurts but reality bites

    Well, that settles that. Obama and his do-gooder lefties are going to get this country involved in a war we have no business being involved in because there are no outcomes that could be in our country's best interest. There is zero chance a democratically elected pro-western regime would come out of this mess.

    Let us not forget that Obama's disastrous foreign policy in the middle east is what triggered this mess in Syria. The entire middle east has been on fire and we have lost allies because of it. Radicals have taken control of areas and countries (Libya & Egypt). And if that mess wasn't big enough, now Obama will attack Syria and risk plunging the Middle East onto a full fledged all out war involving Syria, Israel, Iran and the United States. Heck, even Russia may decide to enter it to help their Syrian allies.

    One thing is for sure. Obama has made the world a much more dangerous place because of his lack of understanding his job is to protect the interests of the USA and the USA alone. His ridiculous altruistic pie in the sky motives and rhetoric are devoid of any real world practicality. This makes him a very dangerous person when he commands so much military might.

    It is too bad Syria used chemical weapons and has been killing their people for two years. It is not our job to risk the lives of our kids and waste our money to stop it. Let the chips fall where they may and deal as best we can with the outcome. Through gas on this mess will not extinguish it.

    August 30, 2013 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  5. Winning

    I've read the reports. I don't see how you can assess a "high confidence" level when you can't even tell us what the chemical agent used was. That is a critical piece of information. if you can't tell what the agent was, you can't tell that an agent was used. It is logically impossible.

    August 30, 2013 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  6. tom l.

    Sorry but I don't believe a word the govt says anymore when it comes to issues like this. They have proven to be untrustworthy.

    August 30, 2013 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And here come the broken analogies regarding Iraq....

    August 30, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  8. Wake up People!

    I say let them deal with it themselves. We are not the world police. We have people in this country that can barely eat and pay rent, but we have money to worry about other countries? I do feel bad for the Syrians but which country intervened during our Civil War??? Remember the war when many whites wanted to keep slavery alive? I don't recall any other countries coming to our rescue. And the same should apply here.

    August 30, 2013 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  9. Larry in Houston

    yep, seal team 6 done the job that thousands have tried to do in the last 10 years, but couldn't do it. bring the aircraft carriers & other subs & warships back home, & take out assad at night, with night vision goggles. simple solution, to a big problem.

    August 30, 2013 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  10. Tom Little

    Don't you think the problems in the middle east should be solved in the middle east. America take your ships and tomahawk missiles and go make war on someone else.

    August 30, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. codebliz

    These folks do not believe in democracy. They all want Sharia law and war lord states. This is what they get. I have no sympathy for them. In peaceful times relatives of these people would plan attacks against me for not believing in their god. This is their civil war not ours (US). Chemical attacks are bad, sure, but lets not forget just a few years ago American protests were put down using tear gas and brute force. We are no better.

    August 30, 2013 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  12. Fair is Fair

    "Kerry said the American intelligence community has "high confidence" in what he called evidence and facts that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons, adding that "the questions is what are we ... in the world going to do about it."
    --------
    Sounds familiar.

    August 30, 2013 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  13. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We're not aksing you to release anything.
    We're not asking you to prove anything. We pretty much agree that they are gassing their own people down there.
    What we're TELLING you is to sit this one out and mind our own business.
    That is our HOPE, to see us mind our own business for a CHANGE.
    At least that is what I 'm praying for anyways.

    August 30, 2013 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  14. Sniffit

    " if you can't tell what the agent was, you can't tell that an agent was used. It is logically impossible."

    No it's not. The nerve agents themselves are processed by the body, which is how they have their effect. They can determine from testing that a nerve agent was used based on the chemicals present in blood and tissue or even looking at things like synaptic tissue, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can determine what chemical it was before the body processed it.

    August 30, 2013 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  15. just saying

    Wake up People!
    I do feel bad for the Syrians but which country intervened during our Civil War???
    -–

    yikes.... talk about living in the past! have you looked at a calendar recently? the year is 2013. civil war was 1861-1865. very weird logic you got there.

    August 30, 2013 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Luis Ramos

    I'm from Portugal in Europe,and i just want to say that the Americans should try to fix their own problems,and stop messing with other countries,it's easy to start a war when it's not on your country,nothing will be destroyed there,but just look at how many countries have America destroyed,and for what??? You're leaders say it's for peace,when it's you who killed more people on the last 50 years,it was the Americans the only country to launch a nuclear weapon on innocent people,that are still suffering from the radiation,and yet you say let's attack Syria.The only good that will come from that is that the richest companies in america will get richer,and the poorer will die in battle. I believe it's time that the American people start opening their eyes,and read some history,and look at what you have done to OUR world,not YOURS.

    Thanks

    August 30, 2013 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  17. Larry in Houston

    To be perfectly honest, this whole thing on Syria does not make any sense to me. I don't know if CNN will print this or not, but One has to put themselves in place of an average Syrian person, living in Syria. (this includes every man/woman/child) AND IF I put my self in one of those people's shoes, ( in other words, put the shoe on the other foot) AND IF my President ( a dictator) was killing & gassing all my friends/neighbors/ and everyone around me, What do you think I would do ? Don't you think I would be "smart" enough to get OUT ? I mean, if this has been going on & on & on for the last 3 or 4 years, The Questions is this : Why Would I Stay In My Own Country ?? Don't you think I would have enough sense to Leave ?? I would go to the border, ( Jordan or wherever) I don't care how long it took me to get there, I would try to find a new home in another state, or country, in this case. I mean, they pretty much speak the same language, right ? I would run/walk/ride a camel/donkey/ or however or how long it would take, to get the heck out of a country that is gassing all my friends/ neighbors/family..... I would take my family, even if I had a donkey pull a cart, and by the time I got to the border, I would give the security something, or whatever I had, whether it was my Lamb /wallet/ with a few pesos in it, or whatever dollars I had left, or make some type of trade, Just to get me & my family over to another country, and start over. Does this all make any sense ? Why would people ( after 2 or 3 yrs) Stay in a Country where their President is killing everybody ?? IF anybody has a real answer to these question, and an answer to this type of scenario, Please let me know, so I can make some sense of it all.

    August 30, 2013 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  18. Sniffit

    "I've read the reports. I don't see how you can assess a "high confidence" level when you can't even tell us what the chemical agent used was."

    You didn't read it. The intelligence report DOES identify the nerve agent as having been Sarin gas and that is based on laboratory analysis of physiological samples from the victims.

    August 30, 2013 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
  19. Wake up People!

    I'm talking about civil war slow moe just saying. I don't care when it was.

    August 30, 2013 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    kirk

    They have denied it, I remember when Saddam refused to let un weapons inspectors in to see his facilities, he used there being a u.s. spy on the team,. Years later we learn he was correct.sad but true, often we are our own worst enemy
    ---------------------------
    UN weapons inspectors were still in Iraq when Bush began dropping bombs in Baghdad and its' airport. The inspectors' plane had literally just lifted off, and was less than an hour's flight from Baghdad when the first bombs hit. Do you know what that means?

    It means that the warplanes had taken off BEFORE the inspectors flight had left the ground, that's what it means. And, the inspectors had been snooping around Iraq for well over a year. After 9/11, Saddam couldn't afford to deny them access anymore because he knew what the consequences would be.

    Who cares whether or not there was a US spy on the weapons inspection team? Would you rather that there wasn't?

    August 30, 2013 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  21. Sniffit

    "yikes.... talk about living in the past! have you looked at a calendar recently? the year is 2013. civil war was 1861-1865. very weird logic you got there."

    Yeah, so why are the southern GOP/Teatrolls still trying to fight it, still trying to use nullification laws, still talking about secession whenever their "team" doesn't have control of congress or, especially, the WH, still yammering constantly about states rights, repealing the 10th and 17th Amendments and celebrating "confederate heritage"? Hmmm? Why is the language and code and dogwhistling and conceptual framework and ideology of the GOP/Teatrolls and their "southern strategy" so inextricably linked with Civil War themes and acculturated resentment in the south? Once again, someone pointing out that you are doing something is not that person making it the issue...you already did that by behaving the way you did.

    August 30, 2013 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. Rudy NYC

    Sniffit

    " if you can't tell what the agent was, you can't tell that an agent was used. It is logically impossible."

    No it's not. The nerve agents themselves are processed by the body, which is how they have their effect. They can determine from testing that a nerve agent was used based on the chemicals present in blood and tissue or even looking at things like synaptic tissue, but that doesn't necessarily mean they can determine what chemical it was before the body processed it.
    --------------
    Testing a blood or uring sample for drug use works the same way. The body metabolizes the active agents, which leaves tell tale residue behind. It's also why you can fail a heroin test by eating a sandwich with a poppy seed bun.

    August 30, 2013 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  23. just asking

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    We're not aksing you to release anything.
    We're not asking you to prove anything. We pretty much agree that they are gassing their own people down there.
    What we're TELLING you is to sit this one out and mind our own business.
    That is our HOPE, to see us mind our own business for a CHANGE.
    At least that is what I 'm praying for anyways.
    -–

    well you know obama is way out in left field if even obama mama isn't supporting him. gotta go mark this date on my calendar because i am almost positive it will never happen again.

    i'm a bit shocked you didn't try and blame this on george bush like some of the other left wing whack jobs in here. thanks for your honesty.

    August 30, 2013 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Luis Ramos

    I'm from Portugal in Europe,and i just want to say that the Americans should try to fix their own problems,and stop messing with other countries,it's easy to start a war when it's not on your country,nothing will be destroyed there,but just look at how many countries have America destroyed,and for what??? You're leaders say it's for peace,when it's you who killed more people on the last 50 years,it was the Americans the only country to launch a nuclear weapon on innocent people,that are still suffering from the radiation,and yet you say let's attack Syria.The only good that will come from that is that the richest companies in america will get richer,and the poorer will die in battle. I believe it's time that the American people start opening their eyes,and read some history,and look at what you have done to OUR world,not YOURS.

    Thanks
    -------
    Dear Louis Ramos,

    You're right. We shouldn't have gone into Europe and ousted the Kaiser in 1917. And we certainly shouldn't have gone into Europe and ousted Hitler either. That way, you and the rest of your 3rd world cesspool of a country could be speaking German and goosetepping your merry selves down the streets of Lisbon while speaking German and feasting on Weiner Schnitzel. You're welcome.

    August 30, 2013 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  25. TomInRochNY

    Is this the same "high confidence" they had about WMD in Iraq?

    August 30, 2013 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |