"... It is unclear precisely how the Obama administration made its final determination about the chemical weapons use in Syria. According to the internal memorandum, intelligence agencies have “high confidence” in their assessment, and estimate that between 100 and 150 people have died to date from chemical weapons attacks. The memorandum goes on to say that the conclusion is based on a variety of intelligence.
“Our intelligence community has high confidence in that assessment given multiple, independent streams of information,” the memorandum said.
The Obama administration’s cautious approach about Syria has already frayed relations with important American allies in the Middle East that have privately described the White House strategy as feckless. Saudi Arabia and Jordan recently cut the United States out of a new rebel training program, a decision that American officials said came from the belief in Riyadh and Amman that the United States has only a tepid commitment to supporting rebel groups.
Moreover, the United Arab Emirates declined to host a meeting of allied defense officials to discuss Syria, concerned that in the absence of strong American leadership the conference might degenerate into bickering and finger pointing among various gulf nations with different views on the best ways to support the rebellion. ..."