U.S. not depending on U.N. alone for Syrian chemical weapon investigation

The U.S. is not depending on the U.N. alone to gather evidence related to whether or not Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime used chemical weapons, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.

Patrick Ventrell, the acting deputy spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement on Tuesday during his daily press briefing. Ventrell responded to questions about recent reports coming out of Syria about the potential use of chemical munitions. Ventrell said the U.S. supports the U.N.'s investigation but that it will work through other channels as well to obtain evidence.

"We support the comprehensive United Nations investigation into what may have been done inside of Syria," Ventrell said. "But we're not only depending on the U.N. or solely on the U.N. investigation, we're also working through our friends, our allies, and the Syrian opposition to procure, to share, and to evaluate additional information associated with reports of the use of chemical weapons so that we can establish the facts. So we continue to do that in a rigorous and methodical way."

Ventrell said the State Department would like to see the U.N. investigation team go into Syria. Thus far, Assad's regime has denied the team entry into the country.

When asked how long it would take the U.S. to gather information and come to a conclusion on chemical weapon claims, Ventrell said there was no timeline.

"We were very clear at the time that we're not going to put a timeline on this, that we're going to do this in a rigorous, methodical way and work diligently toward that, investigating all of these claims," Ventrell said.