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Hagel Claims Chemical Weapon Used in Syria

Has the red line on direct American participation in Syria been crossed?

by
Adam Chandler
April 25, 2013
Japanese Authorities Clean Up Following a Sarin Gas Attack in 1995.(JapanSociety)
Japanese Authorities Clean Up Following a Sarin Gas Attack in 1995.(JapanSociety)

Talking with reporters today in Abu Dhabi, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made a startling announcement, which echoed recent claims made by Israeli, French, and British officials about the use of chemical weapons in Syria:

He said the chemical weapons found were sarin, and said it is likely the regime of Syria’s Bashar Assad was behind the use of the weapons.



Asked if this crossed a “red line” for the U.S., Hagel said they are still trying to assess.



“It violates every convention of warfare,” he said.

It’s difficult to tell what the impact of this revelation will be, but as Friend-of-Scroll Zack Beauchamp noted: “We are now about to find out just what the Obama Administration meant by a chemical “red line” on Syria intervention.”

Adam Chandler was previously a staff writer at Tablet. His work has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Atlantic, Slate, Esquire, New York, and elsewhere. He tweets @allmychandler.

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