The death toll given by the Obamaadministration for an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack is far higher than confirmed counts of two key allies and a main activist group, which said it was shocked by the U.S. figure.
In pressing Congress to authorize a military strike against Syria, the administration has asserted that the government of President Bashar Assad killed 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, in an Aug. 21 attack on the suburbs of Damascus.
But Britain and France have cited far lower numbers of confirmed deaths, raising questions about the intelligence theWhite House is using to make its case to launch missile strikes against Syria.
U.S. officials say they can’t disclose how they derived their figure without compromising intelligence, but they say it is based on a variety of sources and they stand by it.
British intelligence organizations said last week that they believed at least 350 people had been killed. French intelligence said Monday that it had confirmed at least 281 deaths through open-source videos, although its experts had created models that were consistent with as many as 1,500 deaths. . .