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updated: 8/30/2013 1:56 PM

Kerry says at least 1,429 killed by 'thug' Assad

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  • Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement about Syria at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. Kerry said the U.S. knows, based on intelligence, that the Syrian regime carefully prepared for days to launch a chemical weapons attack.

      Secretary of State John Kerry makes a statement about Syria at the State Department in Washington, Friday, Aug. 30, 2013. Kerry said the U.S. knows, based on intelligence, that the Syrian regime carefully prepared for days to launch a chemical weapons attack.
    Associated Press

 
Bloomberg News

President Barack Obama will decide on America's response to a chemical weapons attack in Syria on the U.S.'s own timeline, Secretary of State John Kerry said.

"President Obama will ensure that the United States of America makes our own decisions on our own timelines," Kerry told reporters in Washington as the Obama administration released an assessment saying intelligence agencies have "high confidence" that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons in an Aug. 21 attack.

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The attack, in the Ghouta area east of Damascus, killed at least 1,429 people, including 426 children, Kerry said.

Kerry said the attack was a "crime against conscience" and a "crime against humanity" that demands a response. He called Assad a "thug" and a "murderer"

"This matters to us, and it matters to who we are, and it matters to leadership and to our credibility in the world," Kerry said. "It matters here if nothing is done."

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