The British say there have been 14 Syrian chemical attacks since 2012 and the last, the most horrific, killed “at least 350” civilians. The Americans count fewer attacks, but put a stunningly higher, quite precise number on the casualties from the attack two weeks ago: 1,429. The French argue that only President Bashar Assad and the closest members of his clan can order chemical attacks; the Americans say that, at least when it comes to the Aug. 21 attack that has triggered the congressional debate over an American armed strike, it is unclear where the orders came from.
In short, the differences in intelligence estimates among the United States and its closest allies are considerable but, in the end, perhaps not that meaningful. Full story for BostonGlobe.com subscribers.