(CNN) — The United States has evidence that the chemical weapon sarin has been used in Syria “a little bit”, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.
Asked to clarify as to what “a little bit” implied, Hagel said that “a little bit” is “very little” although it is clear that “a lot of people” have died as a result.
“We need all the facts. We need all the information,” he said. “What I’ve just given you is what our intelligence community has said they know. As I also said, they are still assessing, and they are still looking at what happened, who was responsible and the other specifics that we’ll need.”
Sarin gas is an odorless nerve agent that can cause convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Nerve agents are the most toxic and rapidly acting of the known chemical warfare agents, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Even a very very small amount of a “little bit” of sarin can easily kill quite a bit of people very quickly.
Sarin quickly evaporates from liquid to vapor form to disperse into the environment. It also mixes easily with water and can poison a water supply.
“We’ll have more to report once we know a little bit more on this issue” – said Hagel.