U.S. gathers facts on most recent allegation of Syrian chemical weapon use
Jen Psaki, the spokesperson for the State Department, made the remarks on Thursday during her daily press briefing. Psaki responded to questions about Wednesday's alleged chemical weapon attack in Damascus that contributed to the death of hundreds of Syrian civilians. She said the U.S. is gathering facts to determine what happened during the incident.
"At this time, right now, we are unable to conclusively determine (chemical weapon) use, but we are focused, every minute of every day since these events happened yesterday, on doing everything possible within our power to nail down the facts," Psaki said.
Psaki reiterated that Assad's regime already crossed the red line a couple of months ago when the U.S. intelligence community determined that chemical weapons were used.
Psaki said the Obama administration made policy changes after it was determined the red line was crossed and Assad's regime did use chemical weapons. One change was to expand the scale and scope of aid to the Syrian opposition. When asked if Assad's regime felt the impact of the increased aid, Psaki said it depends on how you measure the impact.
"We've worked every single day, every single week, to make sure we're taking the next appropriate steps, the next helpful steps to ensure the (Supreme Military Council) is strengthened, General (Salim) Idris is strengthened, and the political component is strengthened as well," Psaki said.
When asked what would happen if the new facts determined Syria once again used chemical weapons, Psaki said the act would represent an outrageous and flagrant escalation of chemical weapon use by the regime.