Syria: John Kerry claims 'lies'

Syria has denied charges by US Secretary of State John Kerry that it uses chemical weapons, adding that "what he said was lies" and baseless. A US intelligence report says at least 1429 people including 426 children were killed in the attack.

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Hagel: US consulting with allies to establish Syria 'facts'

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel said the Obama administration was consulting with its allies to "further develop the facts" about last week's alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria.

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel speaking in Manila, the Philippines, this morning. Credit: RTV

Speaking at a news conference in the Philippines this morning, Hagel said the administration also would continue to seek input from members of Congress on how the US should respond to the deadly attack.

Report: US to release declassified Syria document today

The Obama administration will release a declassified intelligence report that links the Syrian regime to chemical weapons use later today, according to CBS News' Chief White House Correspondent Major Garrett.

Without naming his sources, he wrote on Twitter:

US has 'no smoking gun' linking Assad to gas attacks

The US and its allies have "no smoking gun" proving Syrian President Assad personally ordered his forces to use chemical weapons to attack suburbs of Damascus, US national security officials said.

In secret intelligence assessments and a still-unreleased report summarising US intelligence on the alleged gas attack on August 21st, US agencies express high confidence that Syrian government forces carried out the attack.

However the evidence does not prove that Assad himself ordered that chemical munitions be used, according to the officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Syria intelligence report 'based on limited intelligence'

The Joint Intelligence Committee said its conclusion that it is "highly likely" that the Syria regime carried out last week's chemical attacks near Damascus is based on a "limited but growing body of intelligence".

"The JIC had high confidence in all of its assessments except in relation to the regime’s precise motivation for carrying out an attack of this scale at this time – though intelligence may increase our confidence in the future," a JIC report added.

In response to claims by the Assad regime that Syrian rebels faked the attacks, the JIC said: "There is no credible intelligence or other evidence to substantiate the claims or the possession of (chemical weapons) by the opposition."

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