WHITE HOUSE STATEMENT: "The President has said that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would change his calculus, and it has." - @CNNAdam
— NewsBreaker (@NewsBreaker) June 13, 2013
Syria has officially crossed Obama's red line.
The White House has confirmed that chemical weapons have been used by Syria's government on a small scale a number of times. It was also confirmed that these chemical weapons have killed 100-150 people, according to a senior intelligence official. The White House statement has said: "intelligence community assesses that Assad regimen has used chemical weapons, including the nerve agent sarin." Meanwhile, the Whit House has has also stated the there is "no realiable reporting to indicate that opposition in Syria has acquired or used chemical weapons."
The use of chemical weapons, such as the deadly nerve agent used by the Assad regime, clearly violates international laws.
Senator Jon McCain had announced that the United States will react to this fact by arming rebels but has since backed off of the statement. However, there is no doubt that this confirmation will change Obama's actions in Syria.
The White House has said that the United States and its international partners "have number of legal, financial, diplomatic and military responses available" against Syria. Earlier on Thursday, Politico reported that former President Bill Clinton agrees with McCain that Obama should be more forceful to support Syrian rebels who are fighting the government forces of Assad.
Earlier this year the United States intelligence said that it concluded "with varying levels of confidence" that chemical weapons had been used in Syria's civil war. But Obama responded to these claims saying that "intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient."
Syria's rebel forces continue to clash with President al Assad's government in a three-year long civil war, which has inflicted shocking human tolls with over 90,000 killed and over a million refugees according to recent estimates. With Islamic extremists such as al-Qaeda and Hezbollah joining in on the fight, arming rebels raises questions.