Intelligence officials to brief lawmakers on Syria

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. intelligence report that outlines the evidence against Syria says some questions remain about Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons last week.

According to intelligence officials, the report acknowledges that there’s no proof of who actually controls some of Syria’s chemical weapons. And it says there are doubts about whether Bashar Assad himself ordered the attack.

Still, a senior U.S. official who has read the report says it assesses with “high confidence” that the regime was responsible for firing a barrage of rockets filled with a chemical weapon that hit suburbs east and west of Damascus last week.

President Barack Obama’s national security adviser and his intelligence chief are among those who’ll brief lawmakers tonight by teleconference, to help make the case for U.S. action against Syria.

Some Democrats and Republicans in Congress are pushing Obama to explain why the U.S. should attack Syria and involve Americans in the country’s deadly civil conflict.

%@AP Links

181-a-02-(Vice President Joe Biden, in remarks off-mic after the ceremonial swearing-in of Todd Jones as director of the Bureau of Alcohol tobacco and Firearms)-”a decision yet”-In response to a question called out from a distance, Vice President Biden said President obama is still pondering what action to take against Syria. (29 Aug 2013)

<<CUT *181 (08/29/13)££ 00:02 “a decision yet”

160-c-20-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP national security correspondent)-”chemical weapons stores”-AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports U.S. officials say the intelligence tying Syrian President Bashar Assad or his inner circle to last week’s alleged chemical weapons attack is not a ‘slam dunk.’ (29 Aug 2013)

<<CUT *160 (08/29/13)££ 00:20 “chemical weapons stores”

159-w-29-(Sagar Meghani (SAH’-gur meh-GAH’-nee), AP national security correspondent, with President Barack Obama)–There are some questions surrounding the intelligence linking Syria’s president or his inner circle to the alleged chemical weapons attack last week. AP National Security Correspondent Sagar Meghani reports from the Pentagon. (29 Aug 2013)

<<CUT *159 (08/29/13)££ 00:29

GRAPHICSBANK: Bashar Assad headshot, as Syria President, graphic element on gray (29 Aug 2013)

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