On September 3, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry delivered remarks on the situation in Syria before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. Secretary Kerry said:
"...We’re here because against multiple warnings from the President of the United States, from the Congress, from our friends and allies around the world, and even from Russia and Iran, the Assad regime -- and only, undeniably, the Assad regime -- unleashed an outrageous chemical attack against its own citizens. We’re here because a dictator and his family’s personal enterprise, in their lust to hold onto power, were willing to infect the air of Damascus with a poison that killed innocent mothers and fathers and hundreds of their children, their lives all snuffed out by gas in the early morning August 21."
Secretary Kerry continued, "...We can tell you beyond any reasonable doubt that our evidence proves the Assad regime prepared for this attack, issued instructions to prepare for this attack, warned its own forces to use gas masks. We have physical evidence of where the rockets came from and when. Not one rocket landed in regime-controlled territory. Not one. All of them landed in opposition-controlled or contested territory. We have a map, physical evidence, showing every geographical point of impact -- and that is concrete. Within minutes of the attack -- 90, I think, to be precise, maybe slightly shorter -- the social media exploded with horrific images of the damage that had been caused -- men and women, the elderly and children, sprawled on a hospital floor with no wounds, no blood -- but all dead. Those scenes of human chaos and desperation were not contrived. They were real. No one could contrive such a scene."
The Secretary said, "...We're here because of what happened two weeks ago. But we're also here because of what happened nearly a century ago, in the darkest moments of World War I and after the horror of gas warfare, when the vast majority of the world came together to declare, in no uncertain terms, that chemical weapons crossed a line of conscience and they must be banned from use forever. Over the years that followed, over 180 countries -- including Iran, Iraq, and Russia -- agreed and they joined the Chemical Weapons Convention. Even countries with whom we agree on little agreed on that conviction.
"We need to send to Syria and to the world, to dictators and to terrorists, to allies, and to civilians alike the unmistakable message that when the United States of America and the world say 'Never again,' we don’t mean sometimes, we don’t mean somewhere. Never means never."