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Kerry says chem weapons attacks number in ’teens’

Updated at: 09/03/2013 7:35 PM
By BRADLEY KLAPPER

(AP) WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is now saying that the number of chemical weapons attacks by Syrian government forces is in the "teens" and that rebels put the number even higher.

The figure cited by Secretary of State John Kerry is significantly higher than any previous public estimate from the United States. Before last month’s suspected chemical attack in the Damascus suburbs, U.S. officials had spoken of several earlier incidents. But no one had put the total in double figures.

Kerry told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime would definitely use chemical weapons again unless the U.S. takes military action.

President Barack Obama is seeking Congress’ authorization to retaliate against Assad by using force.

(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)