Transcript for Syria Chemical Weapons Claims 'Undeniable' Says State Dept.
This is a special report from ABC news. Anti Hernandez in New York this is an ABC news digital special report as you can see secretary of state John Kerry's at the podium. Ready to make a statement on Syria. Consider. Our response to the use of chemical weapons. What we saw -- in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians. The killing of women and children and innocent bystanders. By chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard. It is inexcusable. And despite. The excuses and equivocation -- that some of manufactured. It is undeniable. The meaning of this attack goes beyond the conflict in Syria itself. And that conflict has already brought so much terrible suffering. This is about the large scale indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilized world. Long ago decided must never be used at all. The conviction shared even by countries that agree on little else. There is a clear reason that the world has banned entirely the use of chemical weapons. There -- a reason the international community has sent a clear standard. And why many countries have taken major steps to eradicate these weapons. There -- a reason why President Obama has made it such a priority. To stop the proliferation of these weapons and lock them down where they do exist. There is a reason why President Obama has made clear to the Assad regime. That this international norm cannot be violated without consequences. And there is a reason. Why no matter what you believe about Syria. All peoples and all nations. Who believe in the cause of our common humanity. Must stand up to assure that there is accountability. For the use of chemical weapons so that it never happens again. Last night after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of the situation. I went back and I watched the videos. The videos that anybody can watch in the social media not watch them one more gut wrenching time. It is really hard to express in words. To human suffering that they lay out before us. As a father I can't get the image out of my head of a man who held up as dead child. Whaling -- chaos swirled around and the images of entire family's dead in their beds without a drop of blood or even -- visible wound. Bodies contorted in spasms. Human suffering that we can never ignore or forget. Anyone who could claim that an attack of this staggering scale could be contrived or fabricated. Needs to check their conscience. And their own moral compass. What is before us today. Is real. And it is compelling. So I also want to underscore that while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground. Our understanding of what is already happened in Syria. Is grounded in facts. Informed by conscience. And guided by common sense. The reported number of victims. The reported symptoms of those who were killed or injured. The first hand accounts from humanitarian organizations on the ground like Doctors Without Borders and the Syria human rights commission. These all strongly indicate that everything these images are already screaming at us. Is real the chemical weapons were used in Syria. Moreover we know. That the Syrian regime maintains custody of these chemical weapons. We know that the Syrian regime has the capacity to do this with rockets. We know that the regime has been determined to clear the opposition from those very places where the attacks took place. And with our own eyes. -- -- all of us become witnesses. We have additional information about this attack. And that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners. And we will provide that information in the days ahead. Our sense of basic humanity. Is offended. Not only by this cowardly crime. But also by the cynical attempt to cover it up. At every turn the Syrian regime has failed to cooperate with the UN investigation. Using it only to stall -- to stymie the important effort to bring to light what happened in Damascus in the dead of night. And as Ban Ki Moon said last week. The UN investigation. Will not determine who use these chemical weapons. Only whether such weapons were use. A judgment. That is already clear to the world. I spoke on Thursday it was Syrian foreign minister -- And I made it very clear to him that if the regime as he argued had nothing to hide. Than their response should be immediate. Immediate transparency. Immediate access. Not shelling. Their response needed to be -- restricted. And immediate access. Traitor to permit that I told him it would tell its own story. Instead for a five days. The Syrian regime refused to allow the UN investigators. Access to the site of the attack that would allegedly exonerate them. Instead it attacked the area further shelling it and systematically destroying evidence. That is not the behavior of a government that has nothing to hide. That is not the action of a regime. Eager to prove to the world that it had not used chemical weapons. In fact the regime's belated decision to allow access. Is too late. It is too -- to be credible. Today's reports of an attack on the UN investigators together with the continued shelling of these very neighborhoods. Only further weakens the regime's credibility. At president Obama's direction I've spent many hours over the last few days on the phone with foreign ministers and other leaders. The administration is actively consulting with members of congress. And we will continue to have these conversations in the days ahead. President Obama has also been in close touch with the leaders of our key allies. And the president will be making an informed decision about how to respond. To this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons. But make no mistake. President Obama believes that must be accountability for those. Who would use the world's -- heinous weapons. Against the world's most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious. And nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny thank you. Very strong words from secretary of state John Kerry on what she says is. He believed to use of chemical weapons in Syria and not waiting for the United Nations report the US government says. They say shocked the conscience. Of the world has defied morality he called an immoral obscenity. Clearly stating that the US government does believe. There was indeed -- chemical attack and the inside her Sheen was responsible are gonna bring in -- -- now who is over at the State Department to react to Terry's. Strong words Dana. -- you are right he made a very strong case for why the United States believes that there was a chemical weapons attack. And that the aside regime is responsible. Not only did Carey called the -- call it a crime and said it -- ended the basic humanity. Of the United States but he laid out exactly why the United States seeks that's. -- Syria Syrian regime is responsible. Saying that. The Syrian regime had the capability. Has the weapons and has -- means and the opportunity to use them. He. Seemed to speak out directly against his Russian counterparts. -- Lavrov the Russian foreign minister by saying that anyone who would question. -- -- this. Whether this attack was real. Weather and it happened or not but needs to check their conscience. Now -- he also said that our understanding the government's understanding is grounded. In fact and common sense need basically said the UN. Investigative team that's out there right now is only going do half the job they're not really there to determine who was behind the attack. He pointed to testimony from Doctors Without Borders as -- -- Syrian human rights commission and he also said the US has had additional information. Andy hinted that that would be made public as this perhaps. The -- reason for them -- shark should -- change in stance by the Obama administration we went from. Let's proceed cautiously. To this is it. Well I think it's a combination of things first of all as Kerry pointed out himself. There is visual. Evidence compelling visual images. Of the attack he mentioned just how he was affected as a -- -- And and you just imagine that if he felt that way. Many other officials throughout the world and in the general population are looking at these images and saying something must be done. On top of that the United States does have -- intelligence within Syria. There are also administration officials who are in close contact with various members of the opposition who mean that -- be in Syria but have. Close contacts there and so. There's there's quite a bit. Evidence and intelligence gathering -- the general public doesn't get a chance to see. I think that one of the reasons why -- made to two big deal about. Mentioning that type of evidence and and that type of information that they'll be presenting is because. The administration. Needs to make a case as to why they would get. More involved with Syria. But despite all of these horrible images despite the fact that a 100000. People have been killed in this conflict. Despite the fact that there are more out nearly two million refugees and half of them are children. The American public is a bit we're aware more -- each. And -- -- not necessarily interested in getting pulled into. A larger Middle East conflict another one on top of that. Still. Part of what I think -- was doing today is also beginning to lay out the case as to why the United States. Needs to step up and get more involved in Syria and -- he ended. His statement by saying -- -- the administration is actively consulting with members of congress and that the president is. Coming to a decision but believes that there must be accountability is there any doubt at this point that the US. Is very strongly considering military action. Absolutely there's no doubt that the US is is considering some type of action in it looks increasingly like. That may be some type of military action that. As I I as I told you earlier today -- that. They want to walk -- -- -- because. The military action. They want to be something that is in direct response to these attacks it's not about regime teens but to deter her. -- more chemical weapons attacks and so again you are looking at options such as a possible. Cruise missile strike. From it destroyers that are already in the Mediterranean but again the United States does not want to go into this unilaterally they did not. Want to be seen as doing this alone and so they've also got to walk a fine line and consult with congress and consult with the UN and consult with. Other international partners to figure out the best way to do this to intervene without it turning into a larger. Regional war and and the United States being dragged. Into one. All right -- Danny Hughes thank you very much for -- -- you staying with us on this story throughout -- -- You've been watching ABC news digital special report following the state department's. Very strong statements from secretary of state John Kerry on Syria and the use of chemical weapons thank you for joining us. This has been a special report from the.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.