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Collins convinced Syria used chemical weapons

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

While Congressman Chris Collins says it's clear the Assad regime in Syria used chemical weapons on its own people, he believes the key issue now is how to respond.

The Clarence Republican met with reporters after his return from Washington and a briefing for members of the Senate and the House of Representatives.

"I am certainly convinced that chemical weapons were used. Beyond that, the next week-and-a-half will tell us who is standing with the U.S.," Collins said.

"At this point in time I have not made mind up yet because all the facts are not yet on the table."

He says a decision on a military attack using drones and cruise missiles has been put off for a few days giving everyone a chance to think it through.

"It's been a hundred years since World War I where the world condemned the use of chemical weapons and said never again," Collins told reporters.

"What the Assad regime has done, with a high level of confidence, is go against the world's position that weapons of mass destruction, chemical weapons, would never be used again."

Collins says the briefings say it's turning into a religious war. He says that all needs to be considered.

"I do think we should be ramping up the questions and the pressure on Russia, who stands behind the Assad regime and is blocking any actions in the U.N."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.