This is big:
“American and European intelligence analysts now believe that President Bashar al-Assad’s troops have used chemical weapons against rebel forces in the civil war in Syria, an assessment that will put added pressure on a deeply divided Obama administration to develop a response to a provocation that the president himself has declared a ‘red line.'”
According to the memorandum, the agent used was sarin gas, a potent nerve agent. The memorandum also states that between 100 and 150 were killed by the Assad regime via the use of chemical weapons.
The other major part of this story is that Senator John McCain (R-Arizona) has just announced on the Senate floor that the US will provide lethal aid (weapons) to the Syrian rebels. Of course, he then walked back on that statement and said the White House hasn’t made a final decision.
Assad has crossed a very dangerous line and the international community must respond with more than just words. Senator McCain may have gotten ahead of himself a bit, but it seems likely that the Obama Administration will look to arming the Syrian rebels. Whether a no-fly zone or a more intensive intervention is in the cards remains to be seen.