March 19th, 2013
07:07 PM ET

Senate Intel Chair: White House has to "make some decisions" on Syria

By Adam Levine

There is a "high probability" that Syria deployed chemical weapons in the ongoing civil war, but final verification is needed, the chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee said Tuesday.

"I have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used," Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Michigan) told CNN. "We need that final verification, but given everything we know over the last year and a half, I would come to the conclusion that they are either positioned for use, and ready to do that, or in fact have been used."

Rogers and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-California), chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, struck ominous tones in an interview on CNN's Situation Room about the possibility that Syria had crossed what President Barack Obama has said was a 'red line' that could lead to the United States getting involved militarily in the conflict.

"The White House has to make some decision in this. I think the days are becoming more desperate. The regime is more desperate," Feinstein said in the interview. "We know where the chemical weapons are. It's not a secret that they are there, and I think the probabilities are very high that we're going into some very dark times and I think the White House needs to be prepared."

Rogers' statement comes as the specter of chemical weapons attacks in the Syrian civil war emerged Tuesday, with the government and rebels each blaming the other for using such munitions.

Feinstein and Rogers stressed a final verification is needed.

“I think that the White House needs to complete an assessment and make some statement as to what action the United States will take," Feinstein said.

The president’s chief of staff said Tuesday the administration was working around-the-clock to assess what happened.

“This is something we take very, very seriously. We had teams up working on this overnight as you might suspect and we’ll continue to trace this,” Dennis McDonough said in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper that aired on “The Lead.”


Filed under: Congress • Syria
soundoff (22 Responses)
  1. John Smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015. ha ha ha

    March 21, 2013 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  2. anybody

    How can you believe anything that comes out of any washington politicans mouth.
    We know they are all liers, Remember the last GOP president lied to the country about IRAQ.

    March 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  3. George Patton-2

    Is the Syrian government really using chemical weapons or are the right-wing thugs in Washington trying to drum up more right-wing lynch mob mentality among the American people against Bashar al-Assad? It's truly hard to say.

    March 20, 2013 at 11:37 am | Reply
  4. rthujgdssdgh

    ALBIET LIBERTY IS NOT HALMARK: LYING TO OUTSIDERS TO (...)MANIPULATE OTHER OUTSIDERS ITS ABOUT SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER IN YOUR OWN COUNTRY AND NOT BEING WORSE OFF BECAUSE YOU DID(...)

    March 20, 2013 at 11:03 am | Reply
  5. rthujgdssdgh

    LOOKS LIKE john smith is ENJOYING HIS LIBERTY

    March 20, 2013 at 10:56 am | Reply
  6. john smith

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
    During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
    In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
    Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

    March 20, 2013 at 2:14 am | Reply
    • fjm1235

      Please move to Russia or China or Iran if you dont already live in one of the "bastions" of freedom.

      March 20, 2013 at 9:41 am | Reply
  7. Tembisa

    Reblogged this on World Chaos.

    March 20, 2013 at 12:12 am | Reply
  8. fjm1235

    If the Assad regime used CW, we should go in w/troops, not alone however. UK, France, & other allies. We shoudlo just tell Putin, "Hey you blew it & couldnt control the situation in your former sphere of influence, so step aside, we will not allow this to happen."

    Regarding NK, I agree, lets deal w/the core problem, China. Sooner or later the West, namely the US, will have to deal w/both Russia & China. Both anti-Western & both building up their militaries. Why is that I wonder? Not. Lets just get it done.

    March 19, 2013 at 9:34 pm | Reply
  9. StanCalif

    Beware, another 10+ year war is being orchistrated! Don't get us sucked into Syria! The Syrians hate each other, the Afghans hate each other, the Iraqis hate each other, the Egyptians hate each other, the Pakistani military and civilian government hate each other!!! Why is this OUR problem?
    Now "Little Fat Boy" in North Korea is acting like an idiot! He just caused us to commit a billion dollars for extra defense! "Fat Boy" is winning! Who can't see this? China is his only ally, they provide all the materials and technology for him to go on this rampage! We need to set China straight! Control your puppet or all your container ships will be turned away from US ports! This will get their attention, nothing else will!

    March 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Reply
  10. mbgcghjfhk

    (...)REBELS NEED...BUT...IT IS WHAT IT IS...BUT IT SHOULD NOT BE WHAT IT ISNT...TO THIS POINT THEY ARE DOING A GREAT JOB...BUT(...)

    March 19, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Reply
  11. press inside

    Reblogged this on press-inside.

    March 19, 2013 at 7:25 pm | Reply

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