Owens Believes Syrian Gov't Used Chemical Weapons


North country Congressman Bill Owens started his day in Watertown riding bikes on the Black River with the owners of Black River Adventures.

But it was clear that the civil war in Syria was on his mind.

He is convinced that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons.

"I don't think there's any other rational conclusion that could be reached even if you want to say that it's based on circumstantial evidence," said Owens.

It's a sentiment echoed by Secretary of State John Kerry Friday.

"We know where the rockets were launched from and at what time. We know where they landed and when. We know
rockets came only from regime controlled areas," Kerry said.

The Obama Administration released a declassified intelligence report saying the U.S. government has "high confidence" Syrian forces used chemical weapons multiple times in the past year.

The report specifically addresses last week's apparent gas attack in the suburbs of Damascus that officials now say killed more than 1,400 people, including 426 children.

President Obama met with leaders of Baltic nations Friday as the U.S. moved an additional battleship into the Mediterranean Sea.

While Obama hasn't asked Congress for a vote, he is keeping them in the loop.

Owens doesn't see leaders at the Capitol standing in the president's way.

"We have the power very simply to stop it by stopping the funding and I'm not hearing any of that conversation," said Owens.

Like Obama, Owens does believe that there is a line that should not be crossed.

"I'm against boots on the ground, period, will be vehemently opposed to that. What I have to know is what's the mission, what's the duration of the mission, and what resources are we going to use," said Owens.

To that end, Secretary Kerry said he knows America is weary of war right now.

But, he added, weariness can't be an excuse not to act.

Saturday, December 3, 2016
, Watertown, NY

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