Israeli officials: ‘Clear’ chemical weapons used in Syria

Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni also told CNN Wednesday that "it is clear for us here in Israel" chemical weapons were used in Syria.

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The Israeli assessments of the use of chemical weapons in the attack on Tuesday where at least two dozen Syrians were killed conflicts with U.S. public statements. White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday there was “no evidence” the opposition forces used chemical weapons, and U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford repeated that line at a Wednesday congressional hearing.

House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) and Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said there was a “high probability” chemical weapons were used.

The use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime would cross a “red line” set by President Obama and mark a turning point in the two-year conflict. The White House has warned there would be consequences for the Syrian government if chemical weapons were used.

The issue is now set to become a major topic during Obama’s visit to Israel this week, where he is meeting Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

Syrian rebels and government forces blamed each other for using chemical weapons in the Tuesday attack in a town near Aleppo. There has not been confirmation that chemical weapons were used, however. 

Opposition forces were calling for an international investigation on Wednesday, according to the Washington Post.


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