The Corner

Kerry: ‘We Know the Regime Ordered This Attack’

John Kerry offered a remarkably strong take on the U.S. government’s case that the Syrian regime used chemical weapons in late August. “We know the regime ordered this attack,” he explained, and there are “samples” that prove the use of chemical weapons. In an interview on CNN this morning, he continued, “We know that the regime tried to cover up afterwards,” referring to the heavy shelling of areas where the attack took place for days following.

The unclassified intelligence summary the White House released on Friday doesn’t seem to indicate quite the same level of certainty — it assesses “with high confidence” that the regime carried out the weapons strike, the “strongest position that the U.S. Intelligence Community can take short of confirmation,” but the evidence is largely circumstantial: They note that they believe only the regime has the capability to perpetrate such an attack, that there was activity in chemical-weapons units around the attack, that rockets were launched from regime areas the morning of the event, etc.

Patrick BrennanPatrick Brennan is a writer and policy analyst based in Washington, D.C. He was Director of Digital Content for Marco Rubio's presidential campaign, writing op-eds, policy content, and leading the ...

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