Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement about Syria on Aug. 30 at the State Department in Washington. Kerry said the U.S. knows, based on intelligence, that the Syrian regime carefully prepared for days to launch a chemical weapons attack. (Charles Dharapak / AP)
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WASHINGTON — Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. knows, based on intelligence, that the Syrian regime carefully prepared for days to launch a chemical weapons attack.
A U.S. chemical weapons assessment says 1,429 people were killed in the attack, including at least 426 children
Kerry said Syrian regime personnel were at the site of the attack for three days beforehand, making preparations. He said regime elements were told to prepare by putting on gas masks.
Kerry said the U.S. also knows from where the rockets were launched. He said the rockets came from regime-controlled areas.
Kerry said the United Nations cannot tell the world anything about a chemical weapons attack the U.S. doesn’t already know and hasn’t already made public.
He said President Barack Obama will ensure the U.S. makes decisions on its own timeline, based on its own values and interests.
Kerry said U.N. investigators probing a chemical weapons attack are limited by a mandate to determine if an attack took place. He said they won’t say who is responsible.
Obama has been seeking international support for a potential military strike against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
But the U.N. Security Council has not backed a strike.
Kerry says the U.N. cannot galvanize the world to act the way it should.
The U.S. is releasing a public report on intelligence gathered about last week’s deadly attack.