U.S. is doing due diligence on Syrian chemical weapons claims
Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement on Thursday during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions about what the consequences would be if the U.S. government determined that Syria absolutely used chemical weapons. Psaki said it was nearly impossible for her to speculate on what would occur.
"It's tough for me to speculate, if not impossible for me to speculate, looking into the future that if we were to find use that would satisfy what we've been talking about, how we would publicly discuss that," Psaki said. "This is something that we are continuing to focus on. Yesterday, I think we spoke a little bit about recent claims by other countries. We're not going to evaluate that, of course, in public. But we do speak regularly with our allies and partners about this issue and do provide relevant information to the U.N. investigative team."
Psaki said the U.S. is focused on making sure the nation has done all it can to gather and evaluate relevant facts in the matter.
"We have learned from past history that we need to do our due diligence, to feel comfortable with the facts on the ground, and that is what the President and (Secretary of State John Kerry) and all of our team is focused on," Psaki said.
When asked if the very slow process of due diligence on the matter of chemical weapons might encourage continued use of the weapons, Psaki said the U.S. was concerned about any use of chemical munitions.
"We are concerned about any potential use," Psaki said. "That's why we're focused on working with the U.N. and through a multilateral process with our partners in the region to get down to the facts."