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An explosion at a mosque in Damascus has left at least 42 people dead Syrian TV is calling it a terrorist suicide blast.
Among the dead a senior pro government Muslim cleric.
Let's get some inside now on the serious situation and some other foreign policy challenges joining me tonight is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
Congressman Mike Rogers the chairman thanks for being here Brett thanks for -- well let's start in Syria.
What do we know about the possibility of chemical weapons being used there.
You if you take the whole body of work from intelligence reports over the last two years.
I believe it's highly probable that chemical weapons were used at least in some small amounts.
Which is in violation of chemical weapons convention.
Now Foreign Policy Magazine they they had this.
Quote that Syrian support group SSG the only American organization licensed by the US government to send money directly to.
The FSA which is on the granite Syria issued a press release yesterday claiming the gas to kill civilians in separate incidents two separate incidents.
Near Damascus in -- left -- Was echoed feel face a chemical agent stimulant.
-- -- -- -- -- -- Is not technically a chemical weapon they write but cause a similar -- -- victims including muscle nerve and respiratory damage resulting in death if not treated quickly.
You believe that that was the agent.
Well I don't have any indication today proof today physical forensic evidence today that says that is exactly the agent.
But we run down a very dangerous road if we start to Parse the meaning.
Of what we know they have what I believe they have the intention to use and what has clearly venues within that total body.
Of information and intelligence reports that I have received or last two years of -- in Syria.
-- have a deteriorating.
Situation on the ground you have al-Qaeda there.
Has below -- we think Hamas elements there we know they've expressed a desire to get their hands on chemical weapons and more sophisticated weapons.
This is a disaster.
That's happened for 70000.
Syrians and could be.
Brought into the hole wider -- -- box Middle East Southern Europe this is a huge problem and I think that's why Democrats or Republicans are growing in chorus and saying.
We need to do something -- not talk about huge military intervention.
But there are some capabilities that we have -- could impact the -- you mentioned forensic evidence is the US trying to get forensic evidence.
Well clearly you want additional FBI guy you want as much as you can possibly get if you can get forensic evidence that says for sure for certain.
This is the chemical compound they used.
Hey that's -- But there's.
A whole bunch of other information that we can obtain.
That would lead us to a solid conclusion about their chemical weapons master Susan Rice apparently -- asked the UN to step in and and do this investigation -- help in this investigation.
Are we outsourcing that's what we should not.
You know there are things that rise above our ability to have a -- from a some outside country.
-- 70000 deaths already.
A government that we believe.
And we have solid information about a international community believes this has chemical weapons has put them in -- the position to be used on short notice.
And I believe there's a high probability has been used what that whole body over the last two years.
That ought to be enough for us to stop the wholesale slaughter of innocent civilians.
When it comes to use of chemical weapons and ended deteriorating security situation which is a security risk to the United States you know what people say.
We heard this in Iraq.
And is this the real deal are we sure war.
Does this fall under the chemical weapons convention of 93 I mean are these actual weapons or.
I mean is this real -- what people -- well the good news is the whole international community there's no dispute about them having including the Syrian it was a dispute in Iraq well including the serious saying yes we have it here's how we're securing it and other things so that I think rises above that that evidentiary standard.
And number one but number two here's why we ought to be concerned about all of this.
So everybody agrees including the Syrians and the opposition and the United States and others those -- they have chemical weapons and -- Have a pretty good number of sites more than a dozen.
And we have all of these sophisticated conventional weapons you have these al-Qaeda groups in trying to get their hands on on Hezbollah trying to get their hands on them.
This is a powder -- it makes what happened in Libya with their weapons that spread across the northern Africa and the -- -- fact I argue Molly was the first victim of weapons that escaped out of Libya after that event.
-- -- that -- these weapons make Libya look like an anti gun show do you think that we're going down the road of horsing water chemical -- -- do you sense that the administration is going to start saying.
Well that's not technically -- chemical weapon and that's just an agent that.
Is that -- -- -- and I hope now we have a very large body of reports over two years.
And again I believe with you take the totality of all of those reports and there are multiple instances multiple sources of of information.
Led both Dianne Feinstein and myself and others and now you see.
Carl Levin and John McCain and Republicans and Democrats joining together saying.
This is serious it has serious national security consequences it's not time to Parse words anymore it's time to step up.
And I'm not talk about full scale military 101 airborne intervention.
We have small -- capabilities.
That could bring credibility to the opposition back to the United States which we don't have today.
Re engage our allies in the Arab League which we don't have today.
And in theory you get that credibility back you show.
Definitive forced to disrupt their capability to deliver chemical weapons you might get a diplomatic solution currently we don't have that option.
Going to hit -- hard break here -- today Republicans.
Met to talk about the gossip is this investigation moving forward people are frustrated are survivor's going to be subpoenaed.
Well I would argue use this -- pain only when you have to there are.
New reports recently of individuals who want to come forward in -- provide some information.
The speaker of the house convened all of the committees today.
To fill in the gaps so that we know what's missing in certain committee aspects and both the senate and the house I thought that was a brilliant move by the speaker of the house.
He's committed to this I know I'm committed to not Wear my jurisdiction is and so were the other committee chairman I think.
At the end today we want -- fact base.
What's the facts take us where it leads no matter where that is so that we can get I think an honest answer to the American people they deserve so when senator Graham says to the house Republicans you're gonna have to up your game on -- Gaza and you're saying it's there.
Hope we've got lots of investigation going on we have there are so few gaps what we saw today was the senate and the house.
Comparing notes about what gaps are missing.
What question still need to be asked.
And I thought in the next few weeks we're gonna have a very very complete picture.
That that I think Americans can look at and know it's not this is not a partisan thing it's a fast fact.
That gives us the answers that not only the victims of the families to -- But I think the American people -- as well as chairman thank you very much welcome back in town thanks for.
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