June 13, 2013


WASHINGTON — The United States has conclusive evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons against opposition forces seeking to overthrow the government, crossing what President Barack Obama has called a "red line" that would trigger greater American involvement in the crisis, the White House said Thursday.

Obama deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes said Obama was planning to step up military assistance to opposition forces in Syria in response to the use of the nerve gas sarin. But he would not outline what specifically the U.S. planned to provide or how quickly the increased aid would arrive.

"We've prepared for many contingencies in Syria," Rhodes said. "We are going to make decisions on further actions on our own timeline."

However, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told reporters on Capitol Hill Thursday that he had been told Obama was "going to provide arms to the rebels."

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