U.S. makes case for use of chemical weapons by Assad regime

There is considerable evidence that the chemical weapons attack that occurred on August 21 in Syria was perpetrated by Bashar al-Assad's regime, a U.S. ambassador said on Tuesday.

Ambassador Samantha Power, the U.S. permanent representative to the U.N., made the remarks on Tuesday at a U.N. General Assembly session on the recent report by Ake Sellstrom and his team on the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Power said that U.S. intelligence officers are providing convincing evidence that Assad's regime was responsible for the attack.

"The evidence of the events of August 21 is clear: in the days before the attack, Assad's chemical weapons experts prepared for an attack near an area where they mix sarin gas," Power said. "They distributed gas masks to regime troops. They then fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 12 neighborhoods that the regime had been trying to clear of opposition forces. It defies logic to think that the opposition infiltrated this regime-controlled territory to fire rockets on its own opposition-controlled areas-and only into opposition-controlled areas-on a massive scale."

Power also said that the 12-centimeter rockets detailed in the U.N. report that were used in the attack and tested positive for sarin are the same rockets used by the regime in previous attacks. She said the weapons were professionally made and that the attack was a professionally executed massacre by the regime.

Power said that the U.S. will stand by the U.N. and the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to allow for the quick destruction of the Syrian chemical weapons program if Assad agrees to give up his chemical arsenal.