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US says Syria chemical attack a moral obsceni -

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TONY EASTLEY: The United States has called Syria's use of chemical weapons on its own people "inexcusable", "undeniable" and a "moral obscenity" that should "shock the world".

The US secretary of state John Kerry says America is still consulting with its allies and with Congress about what to do.

From Washington, here's North America correspondent Michael Vincent.

MICHAEL VINCENT: For days the United States has waited before passing judgment on Syria's chemical weapons attacks.

Today US secretary of state John Kerry was blunt.

JOHN KERRY: 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 equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable.

MICHAEL VINCENT: Secretary Kerry says the meaning of the attack goes beyond the war in Syria.
He says it is about the indiscriminate use of weapons that the civilised world said should never be used at all.

JOHN KERRY: Last night after speaking with foreign ministers from around the world about the gravity of this situation, I went back and I watched the videos. The videos that anybody can watch in the social media. And I watched them one more gut-wrenching time.

It is really hard to express in words the 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 his dead child, wailing, while chaos swirled around him.

The images of entire families, dead in their beds without a drop of blood or even a visible wound. Bodies, contorting in spasms. Human suffering that we can never ignore or forget.

MICHAEL VINCENT: John Kerry says president Obama believes there must be accountability for the use of the world's most heinous weapons against the world's most vulnerable people.

US defence secretary Chuck Hagel, who's visiting South East Asia, has said if any action is taken, it will be with the international community and it will have legal justification.

This is Michael Vincent in Washington for AM.