Obama: U.S. Has “Concluded” Syrian Government Behind Chemical Attack

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 28 2013 6:33 PM

Obama: U.S. Has “Concluded” Syrian Government Behind Chemical Attack

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President Obama delivers remarks during the 'Let Freedom Ring' commemoration event August 28, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Photo by Michael Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images

In an interview with PBS NewsHour on Wednesday, President Obama said that it was the Syrian government that carried out a large-scale chemical weapons attack on civilians, but he hasn’t decided on how the U.S. will respond.

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So what I've said is that we have not yet made a decision, but the international norm against the use of chemical weapons needs to be kept in place. And nobody disputes -- or hardly anybody disputes that chemical weapons were used on a large scale in Syria against civilian populations.

We have looked at all the evidence, and we do not believe the opposition possessed nuclear weapons on -- or chemical weapons of that sort. We do not believe that, given the delivery systems, using rockets, that the opposition could have carried out these attacks. We have concluded that the Syrian government in fact carried these out. And if that's so, then there need to be international consequences.

So we are consulting with our allies. We're consulting with the international community. And you know, I have no interest in any kind of open-ended conflict in Syria, but we do have to make sure that when countries break international norms on weapons like chemical weapons that could threaten us, that they are held accountable.      

***Updated with video***

 

 

Elliot Hannon is a writer in Washington, D.C. Follow him on Twitter.

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