U.S. continues to acquire information on Syrian chemical weapon use
Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions related to an statement made by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius regarding the absolute certainty of Assad's use of chemical weapons. When asked if the U.S. was delaying its response because it was hiding something or backed into a corner, Psaki said there was no update to give on the investigation.
"Our policy here, Jo, is that we said a couple of weeks ago in the letter we all are familiar with to Congress that there - that our intel assessments showed that there was reasonable belief - it's a paraphrase - that chemical weapons were used," Psaki said. "At the time - and we continue to be in the same place - we said we were going to analyze the details, analyze the facts, acquire all information we can do. We're still in that phase."
Psaki said that using the information from the French is part of the process, but she said the State Department will not analyze or evaluate the information in public.
"We take it into account in our process of looking at all the information we have available, including what we're hearing on the ground, what we're talking to the U.N. about, et cetera," Psaki said. "And as we have information that confirms the facts, if we have information to confirm the facts, I am sure we will share that, absolutely, to your point. But we're just not there yet, so we're just working day and night to make sure that we're nailing the facts down before we have more to report."
Psaki confirmed that the department would issue an announcement if there was something new to report in the chemical weapons investigation.