State Department comments on U.N. investigation in Syria

Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, reaffirmed on Monday that the use of chemical munitions by Syria or anyone else would be condemned by the U.S.

During the department's daily press briefing, Ventrell was asked how the U.S. would be able to verify if Syria crossed the red line by using chemical weapons in case the recent U.N. investigation was not allowed to enter the country. Ventrell said the U.S. was doing everything in its power to gather information about the recent allegations of chemical weapon use.

"The bottom line is that we're using all available means to make sure that we get as much information as we can about what may or may not have been used inside of Syria," Ventrell said. "The U.N. investigation is one of those means. Obviously, I can't get in to intelligence here from this podium, but we'll continue to watch very carefully, and we've been long and consistently clear in our response that the Syrian government should not use these munitions, that that would be a horrible mistake, and anybody who does will be held accountable."

Ventrell also commented on what the Syrian government needs to do to prove the legitimacy of its request to the U.N. to examine chemical weapon use by the opposition.

"But what the Assad regime can do, and what they should do, the Assad regime and its supporters, to prove that their request for an investigation was not just some sort of diversionary tactic, is to let the U.N. team in," Ventrell said. "And the U.N. has said that they can get them in within a matter of days to begin their full and thorough and credible investigation. So that's really what the regime needs to do in the face of these allegations instead of continuing to sort of divert attention away."