Tags: harman | syria | tipping | point

Harman: Syria at ‘Tipping Point’

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 10:09 AM

By David Yonkman, Washington Correspondent

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The former House Intelligence Committee ranking Democrat said Syria is at a tipping point with its use of chemical weapons, but stopped short of saying they had been used.

Speaking on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” Jane Harman said the lessons learned from Iraq 10 years ago — when former dictator Saddam Hussein was believed to have had large stockpiles of such weapons — make her approach the issue with much more caution.

She said, however, the United States needs to put more effort into ensuring that chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria are secure.

“I do believe that we’ve reached a tipping point, and we need to play a much more forceful role,” said the former California representative, who is now president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center.

A senior Israeli official said Wednesday that it is “apparently clear” that chemical weapons were recently used in Syria, but a spokesman for President Barack Obama said there isn’t yet any hard evidence that such weapons have been used.

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels fighting to overthrow him have each blamed each other for using chemical weapons.

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