U.S. has little doubt that Assad's regime was responsible for attack

The U.S. has very little doubt that the chemical weapon attack that occurred in Damascus, Syria last week was perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Marie Harf, the deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Monday during her daily press briefing. Harf said it was clear chemical weapons were used during the August 21 attack and it was very likely the work of Assad's regime.

"The regime has used chemical weapons in the past year, we know that the regime has the capability to launch a chemical weapons attack, as (Secretary of State John Kerry) said, using this method," Harf said. "We also know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from this area. So clearly we're still gathering all the information, but there is very little doubt in our mind that this was perpetrated by the regime."

Harf responded to a question about a recent statement by Secretary Kerry calling the attack a moral obscenity. When asked why such harsh words weren't used on the three previously confirmed attacks, Harf said the scale of the attack, the large number of victims and the brazenness of the perpetrator prompted the use of the term.

"I think the sheer scale of this attack, coming especially when the U.N. team was just getting on the ground to look into other alleged chemical weapons attacks, that the scale and the brazenness, and quite frankly the numbers of dead, is another level and would be a significant escalation in the regime's use of chemical weapons if that's what we determined happened," Harf said.