USA says sarin nerve gas was used in Syria

Kasmira Jefford
Follow Kasmira
THE US has evidence that sarin nerve gas was used in a deadly chemical attack in Syria last week, the secretary of state John Kerry said yesterday, as he sought to build the case for a military strike against Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Making a round of television appearances yesterday, Kerry urged lawmakers to back Barack Obama after the US President decided on Saturday to put Syrian military action to Congressional vote.

He said blood and hair samples gathered after the devastating 21 August attack in east Damascus had “tested positive for signatures of sarin”.

Assad supporters denied responsibility for the attack and blamed the rebels.

Kerry declined to say whether Obama would go ahead with military action if Congress rejects the President’s request, but he stressed that Obama had the right to take action without their consent.

Kerry’s comments came as chancellor George Osborne ruled out trying to persuade MPs to change their mind over British military action, saying: “I think parliament has spoken.”

MPs voted on Thursday against the principle of taking military action in Syria.

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show, Osborne said MPs were “sceptical of another foreign entanglement” and new evidence was unlikely to make a difference to their decision.

“I understand their argument, I don’t agree with it, and I don’t feel frankly more evidence or another week or more UN reports would have convinced them,” he said.