Arshad Mohammed and Steve Holland
August 30, 2013
(Reuters) – The Obama administration made a forceful case on Friday for limited U.S. military action against Syria, releasing evidence the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against civilians several times during the past year and saying the “indiscriminate, inconceivable horror” of a deadly attack last week could not go unpunished.
In separate statements, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry harshly condemned the Syrian government but said any military response by the United States would be measured to avoid open-ended commitments – a nod by the White House to most Americans’ reluctance to engage in another war.
The White House released a four-page, unclassified intelligence assessment that said an August 21 chemical weapons attack outside Damascus killed at least 1,429 civilians, including 426 children. It was the largest of multiple attacks against the Syrian opposition in the last year, the report said.