Texas Republican: Evidence that Assad used chemical weapons is ‘thin’

A Texas Republican lawmaker said the evidence he saw Sunday at a classified briefing showing the use of chemical weapons by Syria’s government was thin.

“Yes, I saw the classified documents yesterday. They were pretty thin,” Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) said.

{mosads}He then said a case could be made that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government wasn’t the side that used chemical weapons.

“The case can be made that actually Assad was the one that pulled the trigger is suspect,” he said.

The Obama administration says its evidence leads it to conclude Assad’s government used chemical weapons against its opponents in the Damascus suburbs. Obama has asked Congress to authorize a military strike because of the use of chemical weapons.

Syria’s government has said groups backed by Turkey, the U.S. and Saudi Arabia are behind the use of chemical weapons.

Burgess said he believed a vote on authorization would fail if it were taken today. He said it was clear that both parties are divided on the issue at Sunday’s classified briefing.

He also said he doesn’t understand why Syrians don’t rise up and topple Assad.

“It’s not that he attacked another country, it’s not that he attacked an ally, he did this to his own folks,” he said. “I don’t understand why they don’t rise up as one and eliminate him from his position in leadership. It seems that would be the logical thing to happen.”

He argued launching a couple U.S. cruise missiles won’t accomplish much.

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