(WASHINGTON) — The State Department is denying a published report that the U.S. believes Syria may have already used chemical weapons against its own people.
Earlier this week, Foreign Policy magazine published an online story that a once classified U.S. diplomatic cable from a U.S. consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, concluded that the Syrian military probably deployed a chemical weapon in the city of Homs.
The White House has been adamant that any such action ordered by President Bashar al-Assad would have serious consequences.
However, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland told reporters at her briefing Wednesday that after studying the allegations made by Foreign Policy, “we found no credible evidence to corroborate or to confirm that chemical weapons were used.”
Nuland did confirm that there was a cable from the consulate in Istanbul but there was nothing to corroborate what it might have said.
Earlier, White House National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor issued a statement about the report, saying, “The reporting we have seen from media sources regarding alleged chemical weapons incidents in Syria has not been consistent with what we believe to be true about the Syrian chemical weapons program.”
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Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN