Israeli minister says Syria used chemical weapons

A senior Israeli official says chemical weapons were used in the attack in Syria that left at least 100 people dead in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.

This citizen journalism image provided by the Media Office Of Douma City which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man mourning over a dead body after an alleged poisonous gas attack fired by regime forces, according to activists, in Douma town, Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2013. Syrian regime forces fired intense artillery and rocket barrages Wednesday on the eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus, in what two pro-opposition groups claimed was a "poisonous gas" attack that killed dozens of people. (AP Photo/Media Office Of Douma City)

JERUSALEM (AP) — A senior Israeli official says chemical weapons were used in the attack in Syria that left at least 100 people dead in the eastern suburbs of Damascus.

Yuval Steinitz, the minister for intelligence and strategic affairs, says Israel's assessment is based on "intelligence estimates." He did not elaborate.

Steinitz told Israel Radio on Thursday that the attack the previous day was not the first time such agents were used.

Steinitz appears to be blaming Syrian President Bashar Assad and calls his regime "exceptionally cruel."

Israel has accused Assad of deploying chemical weapons in the past and has repeatedly expressed concern that neighboring Syria's chemical arsenal could fall into the hands of anti-Israel militants.

The U.N. Security Council has called for an investigation into the latest allegation of chemical weapons use.
Associated Press
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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