Why the U.S. Didn't Anticipate Syria's Chemical Attack

members of the UN investigation team take samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria. members of the UN investigation team take samples from the ground in the Damascus countryside of Zamalka, Syria. Shaam News Network via AP video/AP

U.S. intelligence officials had obtained, but not "processed" the intercepted communications between Syrian officials that allegedly betrayed signs of the devastating chemical attack ahead of August 21.

The Obama administration has made no secret of the fact that the U.S. had intelligence detailing what they argue is the preparation of Syria's government for the strikes, but the Associated Press' scoop seems to, at least partially, answer one big question the administration's case for Syrian intervention raised: if the U.S. had so much intelligence connecting the Syrian regime to the strike before it even happened, why didn't it know about it or try to prevent it in the first place? 

As a refresher, here's what Kerry said in his State Department speech on Friday

We know that for three days before the attack the Syrian regime's chemical weapons personnel were on the ground in the area making preparations...We know that the Syrian regime elements were told to prepare for the attack by putting on gas masks and taking precautions associated with chemical weapon.

Read more on The Atlantic Wire

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