Despite U.N. report on Syria, U.S. says findings remain inconclusive
Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement on Tuesday during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions about a report released by the U.N. Commission on Syria and sent to the U.N. Human Rights Council that said there were reasonable grounds to believe both sides in the Syrian conflict used chemical weapons.
Psaki pointed out that the commission was not the same U.N. group engaged in the Syrian chemical weapons investigation.
"In terms of the U.N. report, so Jo is referring to the U.N. Commission of Inquiry report," Psaki said. "Just to clarify for everybody, that is different from the U.N. investigation that is looking into chemical weapons use. They regularly provide an update every couple of months or so on things like human rights abuses, et cetera."
Psaki said the U.S. welcomes the latest report and agrees with the expressions of serious concern for unacceptable levels of violence being used against the Syrian people.
Psaki also said that the report does not cite irrefutable evidence about the use of chemical weapons.
"On specifically the (chemical weapons) use and that question that you raised, Jo, we note the statement from the chair of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry who said, quote, 'There are reasonable grounds to believe that limited quantities of toxic chemicals were used.'" Psaki said. "'It has not been possible on the evidence available to determine the precise chemical agents used, their delivery systems, or the perpetrator.' So we understand that the panel admitted that its findings remain inconclusive and note that as we have long said, a more comprehensive U.N. investigation is necessary in this case."
Psaki said the U.S. is working its its partners to determine whether or not chemical weapons were used and by whom.