Unsure about use of chemical weapons in Syria: US
Washington: A day after the UN appointed a fact-finding mission to probe alleged use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime in Syria, the US has said as of now, there is no "absolute confirmation" with it in this regard.
"I don't believe we have as of yet confirmed an absolute use of chemical weapons by Assad. He does possess chemical weapon. It is dangerous and it is real. And we've got to deal with that eventuality and how we would respond to it," US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said yesterday.
Hagel was responding to a question on possible use of chemical weapons by Syria.
Meanwhile, The White House has welcomed the appointment of Ake Sellstrom to head the fact-finding mission to Syria.
"We are certainly pleased to see the UN moving quickly to work out the details, and it demonstrates the unique importance the UN is placing on the investigation," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
He also expressed hope that the Assad regime will extend all possible cooperation to the UN mission.
Responding to question on another attack inside Syria, Earnest said the US has noted the increased tempo in clashes in the Damascus area.
"We're deeply concerned by the reported mortar attack on a Damascus University faculty of architecture building today, which resulted in reportedly at least 10 deaths," he said.
The US has been concerned about indiscriminate use of force and the civilian casualties in crossfires, whether it's from the regime or on the opposition side, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.
"This again speaks to what we were talking about the effort of al-Qaida extremists to infiltrate the legitimate opposition, and we know that they have very little interest in human life or civilian life," she said.