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Obama: ‘Chain of custody’ needed for Syria action

JTA

April 30, 2013 | 2:26 pm

President Barack Obama at the White House on April 30. Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

President Barack Obama at the White House on April 30. Photo by Jason Reed/Reuters

President Obama said he needs to have all the facts on who used chemical weapons in Syria before taking further action.

"What we now have is evidence that chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria, but we don't know how they were used, when they were used, who used them," Obama said Tuesday at a news conference. "We don't have a chain of custody that establishes what exactly happened. And when I am making decisions about America’s national security and the potential for taking additional action in response to chemical weapon use, I've got to make sure I've got the facts."

Obama, facing increasing pressure from some in Congress, in the human rights community and among conservatives to escalate action against Syria, has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "red line" that could trigger U.S. military intervention.

A number of intelligence agencies, including Israel's, have assessed that such use has taken place in recent weeks.

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