The European Union said Saturday that all intelligence on the Aug. 21 chemical attack outside Damascus "seems to indicate strong evidence that the Syrian regime is responsible for these attacks."
A statement issued Saturday by Catherine Ashton, the EU’s represenative for foreign affairs said, “clear and strong response is crucial to make clear that such crimes are unacceptable and that there can be no impunity.”
The EU is comprised of 28 sovereign states including Germany, Ireland, Spain, Sweden, Italy, and the UK. Most EU nations are unwilling to commit to quick retaliation against Syria.
After a meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign ministers announced that no military action should be taken against Syria until a United Nations inspection report is delivered.
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EU ministers said "preliminary report of this first (U.N.) investigation can be released as soon as possible."
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, who hosted the meeting, said "more and more evidence that the Assad regime is behind all these crimes. We can't just ignore this."
The EU statement called the attack “blatant violation of international law, a war crime and a crime against humanity.” Assad’s regime, the statement said, is the only party “that possesses chemical weapons agents and the means of their delivery in a sufficient quantity.”
U.N. chemical weapons inspectors could submit a report of initial findings from Syrian test samples as early as next week, according to USA Today.