The evidence is “clear and compelling” that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime used chemical weapons against its own people last week, Secretary of State John Kerry told the American people Friday.
The U.S., Kerry said, knows where the rockets carrying the chemicals were fired from — territory controlled by the Assad regime — and when they were launched.
His words came as the world waits for what are expected to be U.S. missile strikes on military targets inside Syria in coming days.
If a “thug and murderer” such as President Bashar Assad is allowed to do that without consequences, Kerry warned, there will be “no end to the test of our resolve. … It matters if nothing is done.”
In an appearance at the State Department, the secretary also said the death toll from that alleged chemical weapons attack was higher than has been reported. According to Kerry, U.S. intelligence has concluded that 1,429 people were killed. While he was speaking, the White House released some declassified details of what U.S. intelligence officials say they have learned about the attack.