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Defense Secretary Notes “Small Scale” Use
By Harold Hutchison

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel has stated that Syria has used chemical weapons. The development heightens tensions around the ongoing civil war, in which tens of thousands have died.

“This morning, the White House delivered a letter to several members of Congress on the topic of chemical weapons use in Syria. The letter, which will be made available to you here shortly, states that the U.S. intelligence community assesses with some degree of varying confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” Hagel said in a statement released to the press.

Hagel made no comments about the origin of the weapons or any American response. Past statements by the Obama Administration have indicated that the use of chemical weapons – or their transfer to terrorist groups – would be a red line.