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kerry assad a thug and murdererThe 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.

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.

Kerry indicated that a report about the attack from U.N. inspectors now in Syria won’t affect the Obama administration’s decision about how to hold Assad accountable. The U.N., he said, has stated that its investigators will only be able to determine whether chemical weapons were used — not who gave the order to fire them. What’s more, Kerry said, “President Obama will ensure that the United States of America makes our own decisions … on our own timelines based on our own values and interests.”

Question is not “what” is known, but what to do

Toward the end Kerr said “the primary question is no longer what do we know.” It is, “what we, collectively … are going to do about it.” He was clearly making the case for a military response. Most analysts, believe it’s likely there will be missile strikes on a few dozen military targets inside Syria.

NPR

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