US official: chemical weapons likely used in Syria


FILE - In this Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013, file citizen journalism image provided by the Media Office Of Douma City, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, a Syrian man mourns over a dead body after an alleged poisonous gas attack fired by regime forces, according to activists, in Douma town, Damascus, Syria. Humanitarian group Doctors Without Borders said Saturday, Aug. 24, 2013, some 355 people showing "neurotoxic symptoms" died after a suspected chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs earlier this week. The group says three hospitals it supports had reported receiving about 3,600 patients with such symptoms in less than three hours that day. (AP Photo/Media Office Of Douma City, File) | Zoom

WASHINGTON (AP) - A senior administration official says there is "very little doubt" that a chemical weapon was used by the Syrian regime against civilians in an incident that killed at least a hundred people last week.

The official says Sunday that the U.S. intelligence community based its assessment given to the White House on "the reported number of victims, reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured, and witness accounts." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak publicly.

The official says the White House believes the Syrian government is barring a U.N. investigative team immediate access to the site of a reported Aug. 21 chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs in order to give the evidence of the attack time to degrade.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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