The Bashar Assad government in Syria has used chemical weapons, including the chemical agent Sarin, on its citizens during the civil war in the region, according to senators briefed behind closed doors Thursday by Secretary of State John Kerry and other national security officials.
Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Bob Corker, R-Tenn., told reporters they believe the presence of the chemical weapons signals that the Assad regime has crossed the so-called ‘red line’ the administration laid out previously that should dictate increased action by the U.S.
“It is clear that the Syrians have crossed the red line that the president said was a game changer, so it should change the game,” McCain said.
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Reading from a letter given to senators at the briefing McCain said, “‘Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria specifically the chemical agent Sarin.’”
Graham said the letter said that the intelligence community has assessed with “moderate to high probability that small amounts of chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime.”