Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday said the administration’s findings that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons against its own people “were as clear as they were compelling.”
Though the secretary added that “some things we do know we can’t talk about publicly,” he told reporters that U.S. intelligence has concluded that the Syrian government has used chemical multiple times, resulting in the death of 1,429 people.
Kerry warned that a failure to act would place the country’s global standing, credibility, and national security at risk, but made clear that the United States “will not repeat” the mistakes it made in 2003, when faulty intelligence pushed the country to war with Iraq.
Acknowledging the the war weariness of Americans across the country, Kerry added, “Fatigue does not absolve us of our responsibility; just longing for peace does not necessarily bring it about.”
He also said the administration would continue communicating and consulting with Congress, but did not indicate that it would seek Congress’ approval before taking military action.