UK, French claims challenge Obama's 'red line' credibility on Syrian chemical weapons use


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is facing a new quandary from a pair of assertive allies, France and Britain, that suggest his stated "red line" for more forceful U.S. action to end Syria's civil war has been crossed with solid evidence of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime.

U.S. officials insist they still lack incontrovertible proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad ordered the use of chemical weapons. They are maintaining that position even after France's declaration that it has "no doubt" of government involvement in at least one attack.

Mindful of America's own checkered intelligence history with Iraq, the Obama administration says it's too early to talk about intervening in Syria's 27-month conflict that has drawn in Hezbollah and al-Qaida-linked militants on opposing sides.