The White House said on Thursday the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad had probably used chemical weapons on a small scale in the country's civil war, but insisted that President Barack Obama needed definitive proof before he would take action.
The disclosure created a quandary for Obama, who has set the use of chemical weapons as a "red line" that Assad must not cross. It triggered calls from some hawkish Washington lawmakers for a U.S. military response, which the president has resisted.
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