Remarks by Secretary of State regarding the position of the Obama administration on the use of force in Syria
Kerry says U.S.. States. established for strikes Syria
President Obama spent several days of consultations with Congress and talk with world leaders on the situation in Syria.
And last night, we asked everyone in his national security team to consult with congressional leaders and officials of the National Security Committee of Congress. And we were asked to check on what we know about the horrific chemical attack on the outskirts of Damascus last week.
'll tell you, as someone who has spent nearly three decades in Congress, I know that this request is the right way for a president to approach a decision when how and if the use of military force. And it is important to ask the tough questions and get answers before acting hard, not just after.
And I believe, as President Obama does, it is also important to discuss directly with the American people. It is our responsibility to speak with citizens who have entrusted each of us in government and Congress with the responsibility for their safety.
That's why this morning the release of unclassified estimate of our government for what happened in Syria is very important. His conclusions are as clear as they are compelling. I'm not asking you to take my word for it. Read for yourself, everyone, those who listen, all you read for themselves the evidence of thousands of sources, the evidence that is now available to the public.
and read for themselves the verdict of our intelligence community on chemical weapons to attack the Assad regime inflicted on the opposition and the opposition controlled areas or contested in Damascus suburb at dawn on August 21.
Our intelligence community has carefully considered and reviewed the information about the attack. And I'll tell you what has become more aware of the experience of Iraq. We will not repeat this time. Therefore, we have taken unprecedented steps to declassify and make the data accessible to those who may find themselves.
But still, in order to protect sources and methods, some of what we know will be released only to members of Congress, representatives of the American people. This means that there are things we know we can not speak publicly.
So what do we really know that we can talk?
Well, we know that the Assad regime has the largest chemical weapons across the Middle East programs. We know that the regime has used these weapons on several occasions this year, and has been used on a smaller scale, but still used them against his own people, not even close to where the attack took place last Wednesday.
We know that the regime has been established specifically for the suburbs of Damascus eliminate the opposition, and he was frustrated that he failed to do.
that three days before the chemical weapons attack, the Syrian regime staff were on the ground in the area, make preparations.
And we know that the elements of the Syrian regime said to prepare for the attack, put on gas masks and precautions for chemical weapons.
know it's specific instructions.
know where the rockets were launched, and when. We know where they landed, and when. We rockets came only in areas controlled by the regime and went alone in the opposition-controlled or contested areas.
And we know, as the world, just 90 minutes later, all hell broke loose in the media. With our own eyes we saw thousands of reports from 11 different sites in the suburbs of Damascus. And they all inform victims with respiratory difficulties show people with spasms spasms, cough, rapid pulse, foaming at the mouth, loss of consciousness and death. And we know that it was common for Syrians have reported all these horrors.
importantly, we know that the doctors and nurses who cared not informed - not a scratch, not a piece of shrapnel, not a court, not a sound ball. We saw rows of aligned dead in shrouds, white linen immaculate one drop of blood.
Instead of being safe in your bed at home, we saw rows of children lying side by side, lying on the floor of the hospital, all the gas Assad died surrounded by parents and grandparents who had suffered the same fate.
The U.S. government already know that at least 1,429 Syrians have been killed in the attack, including at least 426 children. Even first aid, doctors, nurses and doctors who tried to save him, were victims. We saw shortness of breath, terrified that their lives were in danger.
It is the indiscriminate chemical weapons inconceivable horror. This is what Assad has done to his own people.
know too many disturbing details about the consequences. We know that senior regime was aware of the attack confirmed that chemical weapons were used by the regime, examined the impact, and was actually afraid that they would be discovered.
And we know what they did after. I personally called the foreign minister of Syria, and said: "If, as you say, your country has nothing to hide then immediately leave unhindered access for United Nations inspectors they have the opportunity to tell their story. "
Instead, for four days, which bombed the area to destroy evidence, black block after bombing a rate four times higher than they were during the last 10 days . And when UN inspectors finally agreed that access - as we know -. Was limited and controlled
In all these things I have listed, in all these things we know - all - the U.S. intelligence community is very confident, very confident. This is common sense. This is a test. These are the facts.
So the main issue is that it is not really what we know. The question is: what are we - collectively - what in the world will do about it
As in previous storms of history met the heinous crimes that were in our power to stop them, we have been warned against the temptation to look the other way. History is full of leaders who have warned against inaction, indifference and, in particular, against the silence when it mattered most.And we deeply care about credibility and future interests of the United States of America and its allies. It is important because many other countries, including the policy challenged these international standards, they see. They look. They want to see if the United States and our friends what we say.
is directly related to our credibility and if countries continue to believe the United States when he says something. They are looking to see if Syria can get away with it, because maybe they too can bring the world to an increased risk.
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