The White House said it was continuing to study assessments by US spy agencies that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons and would not set a timetable for corroborating reports.
“I’m not going to set a timeline, because the facts need to be what drives this investigation, not a deadline,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters at a briefing on Friday.
“We are continuing to work to build on the assessments made by the intelligence community, that the degrees of confidence here are varying, that this is not an airtight case,” he said.
President Barack Obama said the deployment of chemical weapons by the Syrian government was a “game changer”, while also noting that intelligence assessments proving that such weapons had been used were still preliminary.
“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law,” Obama told reporters at the White House.