U.S. officials confirmed yesterday that the Syrian government officially crossed a “red line” by using chemical weapons against rebel forces. But for a revelation that the administration says mandates a significant change in policy, the White House’s attitude was rather nonchalant: NBC News reports that President Obama’s deputy national-security adviser made the announcement “on a conference call while the president was attending an LGBT event at the White House.” The event in question was the White House’s LGBT Pride Month celebration. NBC’s Chuck Todd noted, “It was striking to see the administration announce this change in policy” in this manner.
The U.N. estimates that 93,000 people have died in Syria amid the country’s ongoing civil war. The White House announcement comes more than a month after physical evidence surfaced that chemical weapons had been used in the country, and specificed that 100 to 150 people had been killed by the regime’s use of chemical weapons.