CDS Welcomes White House Statement on Assad Regime Use of Chemical Weapons

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Today, the White House officially confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad regime. United States intelligence has concluded that the Assad regime maintains control over the chemical weapons and has used them on several occasions over the last year. Additionally, President Obama “authorized the expansion of our assistance to the Supreme Military Council (SMC),” and will increase the amounts and types of direct assistance to the Syrian Opposition Coalition and SMC.

"We welcome this increased engagement by the U.S. and hope it will quickly translate into concrete actions to turn the tide of the conflict on the ground.." Dr. Basha said.

Today, the White House officially confirmed the use of chemical weapons in Syria by the Assad regime. The statement by Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes stated that the United States intelligence community determined chemical weapons were used by the Assad regime and confirmed at least 100-150 deaths due to chemical weapons including Sarin gas, according to yesterday's report by the Washington Post.

Read: U.S., citing use of chemical weapons by Syria, to provide direct military support to rebels

They concluded that the Assad regime maintains control over the chemical weapons and has used them on several occasions over the last year. Additionally, President Obama “authorized the expansion of our assistance to the Supreme Military Council (SMC),” and will increase the amounts and types of direct assistance to the Syrian Opposition Coalition and SMC.

“This statement by the White House today is a step in the right direction for United States policy on Syria. With over 4 million internally displaced persons, over 1.6 million refugees, and hundreds dying everyday, immediate assistance to the Free Syrian Army and Syrian Coalition is crucial. We welcome this increased engagement by the U.S. and hope it will quickly translate into concrete actions to turn the tide of the conflict on the ground and protect Syrian civilians from chemical weapons attacks, aircraft, scud missiles, and mortar fire.

"We hope such actions include safe zones in addition to strategic arming of the vetted elements of the Free Syrian Army. Safe zones are crucial for changing the strategic calculus on the ground, a pre-requisite for a change in Assad’s calculation,” said CDS board member Dr. Yahia Basha.

The Coalition for a Democratic Syria is a group of Syrian-American non-profit organizations working together to bring about a swift end to the conflict and support the establishment of peace, freedom, and democracy in Syria. The CDS is a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional, non-partisan organization. The CDS includes: Syrian Emergency Task Force, United for Free Syria, Syrian American Council, Syrian American Alliance, Syrian Expatriates Organization, Syrian Christians for Democracy, and Association of Free Syrians.

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