John Kerry Says Data Suggest Syria May Have Used Chlorine Gas

Syria gas
A woman, affected by what activists say was a gas attack, breathes through an oxygen mask inside a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama April 12, 2014. Stringer/Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday he had seen raw data suggesting that Syria used chlorine in gas attacks against its own people, though he said the data had not yet been verified.

Syria may have used chemical weapons involving chlorine in 14 attacks in recent months, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said.

"I have seen the raw data that suggests, that there may have been, as France has suggested, a number of instances in which chlorine has been used in the conduct of war," Kerry said, adding that the data had not yet been verified.

Kerry, speaking in London, said the United States had agreed with its allies to ramp up support for the Syrian opposition but declined to say whether that would include arming them.

Kerry said he was open to the idea of providing aid to Syria through any means but that no decision had been made on changing U.S. aid strategy.

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