US threatens Syria over 'obscene' chemical strike
DAMASCUS (AFP) - Washington warned Syria on Monday it would face action over the "moral obscenity" of a chemical weapons attack, as UN inspectors braved sniper fire to gather evidence about the incident.
Speaking amid reports that Washington and its allies are preparing to launch a punitive cruise missile strike on Syrian targets, US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Bashar al-Assad's regime of engaging in a cover-up.
"Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity," Mr Kerry declared in a televised statement.
"By any standard it is inexcusable, and despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable." Mr Kerry said Washington would provide more evidence of who was behind the attack, and that US President Barack Obama was determined that the guilty would face consequences.