U.S. maintains position that only Syrian government used chemical weapons

Despite assertions by Russia's U.N. ambassador that Syrian rebels used chemical weapons, the U.S. maintains its position that only the Syrian government used the weapons, the White House said on Tuesday.

Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, made the remarks on Tuesday during his daily press briefing. Carney responded to a question about a recent assertion made by Russia's U.N. ambassador that Russia presented evidence to the U.N. about chemical weapons used by the Syrian rebels. Carney said the U.N. has yet to see such evidence.

"We have yet to see any evidence that backs up the assertion that anybody besides the Syrian government has had the ability to use chemical weapons or has used chemical weapons," Carney said.

Carney said the assertion was interesting, given the fact that Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime is not letting the U.N. investigate the claims of chemical weapon use on the ground in Syria.

"I think it's an interesting point that this assertion has been made to or presented to the United Nations because there is the sticking point," Carney said. "Bashar al-Assad called for a U.N. investigation into the use of chemical weapons and then he blocked the ability of the United Nations to conduct that investigation. The way to answer this question is to allow the U.N. to investigate, because our ability as an international community to investigate the use of chemical weapons in Syria is hampered by Assad's refusal to allow a U.N. investigation."

Carney said the U.S. seriously doubts that chemical weapons were used outside of the sphere of control of the Syrian government