Secretary of State John Kerry announced Sunday that hair and blood samples from Damascus have tested positive for sarin gas and urged Congress to take military action against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.
"In the last 24 hours, we have learned through samples that were provided to the United States that have now been tested from first responders in east Damascus and hair samples and blood samples have tested positive for signatures of sarin," Kerry said on NBC's Meet The Press. "So this case is building and this case will build."
The samples were taken by U.S. emergency workers in Damascus.
“Each day that goes by, this case is even stronger. We know that the regime ordered this attack. We know they prepared for it. We know where the rockets came from. We know where they landed,” Kerry added on CNN. “We know the damage that was done afterwards. We’ve seen the horrific scene all over the social media, and we have evidence of it in other ways, and we know that the regime tried to cover up afterwards.”
Referred to as “nerve gas,” sarin works by interfering with enzymes used to send messages to the muscles. Without the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, the central nervous system cannot move the body. Victims eventually die from asphyxiation, unable to use the muscles necessary to breathe.
On Meet the Press, Kerry said he is confident Congress will agree with President Barack Obama’s plan for a military strike.
“I do not believe the Congress of the United States will turn its back on this moment,” he said.
“I don’t believe that my former colleagues in the United States Senate and the House will turn their backs on all of our interests, on the credibility of our country, on the norm with respect to the enforcement of the prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, which has been in place since 1925.”