U.S. State Department confirms Syria crossed red line
Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the statement on Friday in her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions related to the updated assessment made by President Obama and the White House. She said the President assessed that Assad's regime used chemical weapons.
"We have assessed that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons," Psaki said. "The President has assessed, and the Secretary of State, of course, agrees that the red line has been crossed. We do not believe the opposition has acquired or used chemical weapons. This assessment was made through multiple independent streams of information... The President... took deliberative, decisive action in response to crossing of the red line. He said it would change his calculus, and it did. He has authorized the expansion of our assistance to the SMC, the Supreme Military Council.
Psaki said that all assistance options are on the table with regards to Syria, except for direct military intervention.
"All options remain on the table aside from boots on the ground," Psaki said. "There has been reports that a no-fly zone has been decided on. Those are incorrect. But certainly in the range of options, that is included in the range of options."
When asked what happens when the U.S. draws a red line and a country crosses the red line, Psaki reiterated that this particular crossing changed the President's calculus of the situation.
"I think the White House has made very clear that the consequences are that it has changed the President's calculation; that's long what they have said, that it would change his calculation," Psaki said. "They talked about their decision to expand assistance to the SMC - military assistance. And beyond that, I just can't discuss the scale and scope of what that means."