U.S. dismisses Syria's offer to inspect chemical attack sites
In a move seen to be stepping closer to possible U.S. military action in Syria,
the Obama administration said that the Syrian government probably used chemical weapons against civilians in the suburbs of Damascus last week.
A senior official of the U.S. administration said Sunday that President Obama is now weighing how to respond.
In a written statement, the official called a Syrian promise to allow United Nations officials to inspect the chemical weapons attack sites. "too late to be credible."
Syria and the UN agreed to the inspection starting Monday -- five days after the alleged attack.
The official made it clear the Syrian government's move was not enough, adding that if it had nothing to hide it would have let the UN officials inspect the sites right after the attack was first reported.
The statement went on to say that evidence could have been destroyed because of constant bombing and the regime's other actions in the area.
Around one year ago, President Obama said the use of chemical weapons by Syrian government forces was a "red line."
Despite mounting criticism from congressional Republicans and others for failing to respond more strongly to the attack, the president has remained reluctant to intervene in another war in the region after two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, Britain and France have both advocated a strong response if the U.S. decides to take military action.
Hwang Ji-hye, Arirang News.
Meanwhile the United Nations reports that snipers fired upon one of its vehicles in use by its team currently in Syria to investigate last week's alleged government-directed chemical weapons attack on Syrian citizens.
No casualties were reported and the UN says that unidentified snipers in the buffer zone area shot at the car multiple times.
It also stressed that "all sides need to extend their cooperation" for the investigation to be complete.
Reporter : email@example.com