March 19th, 2013
10:54 PM ET

Chemical weapons attack alleged in Syria

Bashar al-Assad's regime and the opposition fighters accuse each other of using chemical weapons in Syria. Fran Townsend and Bob Baer react to the news and discuss what the situation means for the United States.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said "we're going into some very dark times" when asked about the Syrian government possibly unleashing chemical warfare. If they did indeed use chemical weapons, that would be crossing the red line set by Pres. Obama to mark when the U.S. would take action.

Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the U.S. House Intelligence Committee, are still trying to verify what's happening on the ground in Syria.

Townsend says if the U.S. is going to get involved militarily, airstrikes will not suffice. She also explains the security training and measures in place for President Obama while he is in the Middle East this week visiting neighboring country Israel.

Baer tells Anderson Cooper that evidence will be examined and in a few days it should be evident if chemical weapons were employed. The more difficult challenge is knowing with certainty which side, the government or rebels, used chemicals to attack. "Either side can be to blame, but the point is that once the chemical weapons come out, that's the beginning of the chaos," he says.

For more on Syria, watch Losing a generation of Syrian children

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Filed under: Bob Baer • Fran Townsend • Syria
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Jan - WI

    Just curious - where did the chemical weapons come from in Syria?
    Might they have been brought in from Iraq before the war?

    March 20, 2013 at 10:19 pm |
  2. Bob

    Oops, on my last comment, I meant that the Syrian Refugees may have to wait a very long time, before America comes to rescue them.

    March 20, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
  3. Bob

    The situation in Syria is extremelly complex and extremelly confusing. This means, that Assad has been working extremelly hard to make it complex and confusing, so that Assad can stay in power. It is very difficult for us, americans, to distinguish between allies and enemies in Syria. So, the american cavalry may have to wait a very long time (probably years), before the american cavalry will come to the rescue

    March 20, 2013 at 5:46 pm |
  4. Hans Huber

    As we know 70K plus lost there life and it will be over 300k before the rest of the world can see the slaughter by Assad and has the "Balls" to help to get read of the BUTCHER.I hope Israel will finally give Obama the permission to provide lethal help to the Opposition. Yes there will be turmoil after Assad is gone but at last the Syrian Children may have a future. It made me sick to hear the whining of the Top USA General, take a stand and run with it and stop your whining.So there is a risk helping the Rebels? Yes, there are also risks crossing a street !

    March 20, 2013 at 3:37 pm |
  5. Glenda Mundy

    Doesn't this sound a little like the drum beat of the Bush era......weapons of mass destruction?

    March 20, 2013 at 1:16 am |

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