An internal memo circulating in Washington alleges that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons in its civil war with rebels. An estimated 100 to 150 people have have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date.
Western intelligence agencies now believe that Syrian ruler Bashar Al Assad has used chemical weapons in his fight to maintain power in the middle of a two year civil war in Syria according to the New York Times. The use of chemical weapons in the conflict is an apparent "red line" for intervention as outlined by President Obama's policy in Syria.
The memo that has begun circulating in the United States government claiming that President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons more than once.
“Intelligence community assesses that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale against the opposition multiple times in the last year.” The memo claims.
Two months ago President Obama stated that the United States had physiological evidence that the nerve gas sarin has been used in Syria, however the intelligence agencies were unsure as to who had used the deadly gas. Now according to American officials the Obama administration has definitive evidence that Assad's regime has used nerve gas.
Sources are reporting that Washington is still divided as to how the United States should respond. The State Department was apparently calling for air strikes on key Syrian air fields this week, however the White House is still wary of more foreign involvement.
It is also unclear how the Obama administration came to the final conclusion that President Assad has used chemical weapons, but according to the internal memorandum at least 100 to 150 people died as a result of the attacks.
“Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information,” the memorandum says.
According to a CIA report the United States obtained blood, urine and hair samples from two rebels fighting the Syrian regime, one rebel had been killed the other had been wounded. The samples taken revealed that both had been exposed to chemical weapons in Mid-March in a Syrian town just north of Damascus according to the CIA report.
John McCain a leading advocate for the ouster of President Assad responded to the apparent red lines being crossed.
“Every bone in my body knows that simply supplying weapons will not change the equation,” McCain said after he took to the Senate floor. “The president better understand that just supplying weapons will not change the balance.”