Syrian man tries to put out fire in Jobar, Damascus
A man tries to extinguish a fire following shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, according to the Free Syrian Army, in Jobar area in Damascus March 13, 2013. Reuters/Mohammed Dimashkia

The long-feared crossing of the red line in Syria may have happened. The White House sent a letter to congressional leaders saying it has evidence that President Bashar al-Assad has employed chemical weapons in the civil war. The White House as of Thursday morning was still insisting it didn’t have enough evidence of this activity, despite confirmation coming out of Israel two days ago that sarin gas had been employed.

“Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” the letter said.

The findings were corroborated by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, who is currently in Abu Dhabi on a tour of the Middle East.

It is as yet unclear what next steps the White House will choose.