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April 25, 2013 AT 11:55 AM
(FOX) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community has determined -- with varying degrees of confidence -- that chemical weapons have been used on a small-scale in Syria.
Hagel announced the significant finding while speaking to reporters in Abu Dhabi. He also detailed the finding in a letter to several members of Congress.
He said the chemical weapons found were sarin, and said it is likely the regime of Syria's Bashar Assad was behind the use of the weapons.
Asked if this crossed a "red line" for the U.S., Hagel said they are still trying to assess.
"It violates every convention of warfare," he said.
President Obama has said the use of chemical weapons would be a "game-changer" in the U.S. position on intervening in the two-year-old Syrian civil war.
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