Charlie Rose interviewed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at his palace in Damascus this morning and will air the entire interview tomorrow, just one day before President Obama is set to address the nation. While Congress debates whether or not to carry out military strikes against Syria, President al-Assad told Mr Rose that he had nothing to do with the chemical weapons attack on August 21 that killed 1,400 civilians, including hundreds of children. Speaking from Beirut, Lebanon on Face the Nation, Mr Rose relayed some of what President al-Assad said in their interview.
Mr al-Assad said ‘there’s not enough evidence to make a conclusive judgement’ about whether the attack happened or not, but also suggested that the rebels might have had something to do with it.
But the Obama Administration has been making a case counter to that claim. Today, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said there was ‘no question in my mind’ that President al-Assad carried out the August 21 attack that seemed to use the toxic Sarin gas. The administration has been circulating video of civilians taken after the attack, showing them convulsing and struggling to breathe – common reactions of Sarin exposure. Secretary of State Kerry said that the images and footage of the aftermath are enough to prove that a chemical attack happened. Though some are pointing out that it doesn’t prove that the Assad regime carried them out. Read more here