US releases videos showing Syria chemical attacks to help convince public, Congress

SyriaUN investigation team take samples from sand to test for a chemical attack in Syria. AP

The Obama administration is distributing videos showing a chemical weapons attack in Syria to help convince Americans and Congress that a military intervention against the Syrian government is necessary, Secretary of State John Kerry said Sunday.

Speaking at a news conference in Paris, Kerry said the videos make clear that the attack is not something Americans can ignore.

The United States has accused Syrian President Bashar Assad's government of using chemical weapons in an August 21 assault, and cited intelligence reports as saying it killed at least 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. The videos show the victims exhibiting what appear to be symptoms of nerve gas poisoning.

"Those videos make it clear to people that these are real human beings, real children, parents being affected in ways that are unacceptable to anybody, anywhere by any standards,'' Kerry said. "And the United States of America that has always stood with others to say we will not allow this - this is not our values, it's not who we are.''

Kerry is in Europe trying to raise European support for a strike in Syria and also discussing Middle East peace negotiations. Kerry met in Paris with representatives of the Arab League, also part of the effort to garner support for a Syrian strike. He reiterated that Saudi Arabia supports military action. "They have supported a strike and they support taking action,'' Kerry said. "They believe it's very important to do that.''

Pentagon plans for longer attack, more strikes: REPORT

Washington: The Pentagon is gearing up for a three-day attack on Syria, longer than it originally had planned, with a heavy barrage of missile strikes followed by more attacks on targets that were missed to destroy in the opening salvos, a leading US newspaper reported Sunday.

The planning for intense attacks over a three-day period reflects the growing belief in the White House and the Pentagon that the US needs more firepower to inflict even minimal damage on Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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