U.S. examines information to determine if Syria crossed red line
Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the State Department, responded to questions about Syria and the Syrian regime's unwillingness to let U.N. inspectors conduct a chemical weapons investigation.
"If the regime has nothing to hide, they should let the U.N. investigators in immediately so we can get to the bottom of this," Ventrell said. "As we said yesterday, we're working to establish credible and corroborated facts to build on this intelligence assessment in order to establish a definitive judgment as to whether or not the President's redline has been crossed. So that's what we're pursuing. And as I said yesterday, it's both the U.N. process but we'll continue to consult very closely with friends, allies, and concerned parties as we look at this body of evidence."
Ventrell affirmed that President Obama would consider the confirmation that Syria used chemical weapons against its own people to be a game-changer. Ventrell said the U.S. has yet to determine if the red line has been crossed.
"We're working to establish a definitive judgment as to whether or not the President's red line of chemical weapons use has been crossed," Ventrell said. "We're not there yet, but we're very carefully looking at the information, working to establish credible and corroborated facts. And to be clear, you talk about sort of an intelligence assessment. That is the assessment, but we're working to further corroborate the evidence. And the evidence must build on the intelligence assessment as we seek to establish the corroborated facts."
Ventrell said it was very important, particularly when it comes to weapons of mass destruction, to look carefully at all available evidence to corroborate the facts of the situation.