John Kerry Is Pretty Sure Assad Is Still Attacking With Chemicals

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that evidence suggests that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been using chlorine in attacks on rebel forces and civilians in recent months. If true, such action runs contrary to Syria’s agreement reached last fall with the UN to give up its entire stockpile of chemical weapons and cease use of them.

Currently, only 7.5 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles remain in the country, but there are concerns that Assad’s regime may be hiding additional stockpiles.

Kerry spoke in London:

I have seen evidence, I don’t know how verified it is – it’s not verified yet – it’s hasn’t been confirmed, but I’ve seen the raw data that suggests there may have been, as France has suggested, a number of instances in which chlorine has been used in the conduct of war. And if it has, and if it could be proven, then that would be against the agreements of the chemical weapons treaty and against the weapons convention that Syria has signed up to.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that witnesses had testified to 14 instances of chemical attacks since last October.

Last week, a draft resolution was circulating around the Security Council, aiming to have Syria go before the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes.

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