The White House says it is “deeply concerned” by reports that the Syrian government has launched a poison attack on a rebel-held district of the capital city.
“The United States strongly condemns any and all use of chemical weapons. Those responsible for the use of chemical weapons must be held accountable,” said Wednesday’s statement.
“Today, we are formally requesting that the United Nations urgently investigate this new allegation,” the statement continued.
The statement does not indicate a change in policy toward the Syrian civil war, which has escalated as rival Sunni, Shia, Saudi and Iranian forces entered on the side of the government or one of the rival rebel factions.
Reports suggest that more than 100,000 people have been killed so far.
The U.S. government is supplying aid, including weapons, to some of the rebels.
But President Barack Obama has no indicated any eagerness to get more involved in the complex fight, especially as Egyptian turmoil increases.
Under Obama’s direction, U.S. forces pulled out of neighboring Iraq in 2010, leaving the U.S. with little or no ability to block Iranian aid to the Syrian dictator.
“The United States urges all Syrian parties including the government and opposition, to provide immediate access to any and all sites of importance to the investigation and to ensure security for the UN investigative team,” said the statement.