The chemical attack in a Damascus suburb that took place on Aug. 21 killed 1425 people, including 426 children, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday.
Speaking at a press conference after talking behind closed doors with President Barack Obama, Kerry called on the public to “judge for themselves” the evidence that’s been made public.
According to Kerry, chemical weapons personnel belonging to the Syrian regime were “on the ground in the area making preparations,” just three days before the attack. Syrian forces were instructed to prepare for the attack, such as by putting on gas masks.
“We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. We know where they landed and when. We know rockets came only from regime controlled areas and went only to opposition controlled or contested neighborhoods.”
According to Kerry it is also known that the Assad regime was desperate to get rid of the rebels in the Damascus suburbs.
“This is common sense … these are facts,” Kerry said.
Kerry did not reveal any information on specific actions the United States might take in response to the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. But he said that it would be a “limited and tailored and response,” and won’t “involve any boots on the ground.
The White House released a declassified version of its assessment of the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime. The assessment states that “The United States Government assesses with high confidence that the Syrian government carried out a chemical weapons attack in the Damascus suburbs on August 21, 2013.
According to the assessment “the regime used a nerve agent in the attack.”
The full assessment published by the white house can be found here.