Ventrell: U.S. closely watching Syrian chemical weapon investigation
Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, reaffirmed that the U.S. is in close consultation with the Israelis, the British, the French and other parties to determine if chemical weapons were used in Syria. Ventrell described how the department is working with other governments to get to the bottom of what happened.
"There are a number of different channels of communication," Ventrell said. "Obviously, I can't get into intelligence sharing, but in terms of this building, we have a number of bureaus who focus on the issue, including our arms control experts, including our Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs. So we have both technical experts and regional experts here in the State Department who work on these accounts and follow them very closely. And of course, as you know, we have teams here at the State Department looking very carefully at the day after in Syria and looking carefully at a variety of scenarios. So we do have experts who are looking at this very closely."
Ventrell was asked how the U.S. would make determinations if the U.N. was not allowed to get on the ground to do soil testing in Syria. Ventrell said the U.N. investigation represents just one source of potential evidence.
"We're looking for all sources of credible information," Ventrell said. "Certainly, the U.N. investigation would be one way to do that, and it's something we've supported, but we're looking at all avenues of evidence to continue to look at it."