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Report: U.S. has determined Syria used chemical weapons

4:07 PM, Jun 13, 2013   |    comments
Syria/AP
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By Aamer Madhani, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON- U.S. and European officials have determined that Syrian government has deployed chemical weapons against rebels, the New York Times is reporting.

The White House announced late Thursday afternoon that they are going to hold a previously unscheduled call with reporters to discuss Syria.

No details were offered about whether any major announcements are coming in the 5 p.m. call. The report confirming chemical weapon use comes as President Obama faces greater pressure to step up action in Syria.

Earlier on Thursday, Politico reported that former President Bill Clinton agrees with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., that Obama should be more forceful to support Syrian rebels who are fighting the government forces of President Bashar Assad.

"Some people say, 'Okay, see what a big mess it is? Stay out!' I think that's a big mistake," Clinton said during a Tuesday event on behalf of the McCain Institute for International Leadership in New York City.

"I agree with you about this," Clinton told McCain. "Sometimes it's just best to get caught trying, as long as you don't over-commit -- like, as long as you don't make an improvident commitment."

Earlier on Thursday, White House press secretary Jay Carney responded to Clinton's comments that "The president makes a decision about the implementation of national security options based on our national security interests, not on what might satisfy critics at any given moment about a policy."

Carney declined to say whether Obama disagreed with Clinton's views.

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