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Syrian Opposition: Assad Regime Preparing For More Chemical Attacks

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC/AP) — An official for the Syrian opposition claims President Bashar Assad’s regime is preparing for another round of chemical attacks.

CBS News is reporting that Khaled al-Saleh, spokesman for the Syrian National Council, made the statement in Istanbul Tuesday.

Al-Saleh said that two convoys moving chemical weapons warheads reached its destinations within the past 24 hours. Al-Saleh said he doesn’t know how many warheads there might be.

CBS News was not able to confirm al-Saleh’s claims.

Al-Saleh’s statements come as President Barack Obama met with Congressional leaders at the White House Tuesday in hopes of garnering more support for a military strike on Syria.

“So long as we are accomplishing what needs to be accomplished, which is to send a clear message to Assad, to degrade his capabilities to use chemical weapons, not just now but also in the future, as long as the authorization allows us to do that, I’m confident that we’re going to be able to come up with something that hits that mark,” Obama said, adding that “this is not Iraq, and this is not Afghanistan.”

Both House Speaker John Boehner and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi announced that they support Obama’s decision for military action.

Boehner, who called on his Republican colleagues to support Obama, said the use of chemical weapons must be responded to. He said only the United States has the capability and the capacity to stop Assad and warn others around the world that such actions will not be tolerated.

Said Boehner: “This is something that the United States as a country needs to do.”

Pelosi said Assad’s action is, in her words, ‘behavior outside the circle of civilized human behavior and we must respond.”

Last week Secretary of State John Kerry announced that over 1,400 people were killed, including hundreds of children, in the Aug. 21 chemical attack.

Assad has denied any role in the chemical attack.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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