It was a chilling remark, not least as he was responding to the latest claims that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons in the country's Ghouta region, just east of the capital. Damascus. I use the word "claims" only because there is, as yet, no conclusive proof such weapons have been used in this instance.
That said, video footage of the casualties in Ghouta examined by chemical weapons experts has them in agreement that some kind of unconventional weapons release has been inflicted on the Syrian civilian population with horrific and devastating effect.
"No doubt it's a chemical release of some variety - and a military release of some variety," said Gwyn Winfield, the editor of CRBNe World, the trade journal of the unconventional weapons community.
His conclusions were echoed by Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a former commander of British Chemical and Biological counter-terrorism forces, who said the scenes in the footage were very similar to previous incidents he has witnessed,
The only area where these experts differ in opinion is over precisely what kind of chemical agent it might have been. Some who have analysed footage of the victims insist it is most likely a nerve gas like Sarin, others say the victims' symptoms suggest otherwise.
The latest report only adds to an already long list of alleged chemical attacks in Syria over the past year. UN Middle East envoy Robert Serry has said the UN has received reports of 13 separate instances of alleged chemical weapons use in Syria.
In some of these cases, however, the US Government has gone as far as to say it has conclusive proof the regime of President Bashar al Assad has used such weapons in the recent past but draws the line at that.
And, while on the subject of drawing lines on this issue, Tuesday marked the one-year anniversary of President Barack Obama's "red line" remarks regarding chemical weapons use in Syria. Events of the past few days have brought Mr Obama's warning under intense scrutiny and pressure to act is mounting on Washington and other countries like never before.
Working on the assumption chemical weapons have again been deployed, it is worth addressing two of the most pressing questions that have emerged as result of events this week.
The first of these concerns the strategic reasoning of the Assad regime and why, when the war appears to be going its way on the ground, it would risk using unconventional weapons only days before the arrival of a UN chemical weapons inspection team, resulting in widespread global condemnation and possible military intervention?
The second question is what form that intervention might take should the international community decide Damascus has indeed crossed the red line with this latest attack?
To take the first of these questions, analysts have noted in recent months a relative drop-off in the numbers of reported chemical weapons attacks alleged to have taken place in Syria.
Most likely this is because of the regime's success on the battlefield that has forced rebel fighters onto the back foot. The Syrian military's blueprint for the use of chemical weapons appears to be a deployment alongside conventional weapons and artillery or rocket rounds.
In this way it instils terror that brings some tactical or psychological advantage without the mass deaths an all-out attack would cause of the type that killed thousands of Kurds in Halabja at the hands of Saddam Hussein in 1988.
So unnecessary and badly timed in strategic terms has the attack on Ghouta been that some analysts have even considered the possibility that these chemical agents were fired not by the Syrian military but by other forces keen to ramp up international pressure on Damascus.
It should be emphasised, however, that this remains only a remote possibility and most likely too conspiratorial to be credible.
Given the balance of probability suggests the regime did use the weapons, it might indicate a toughening of its resolve that pays little heed to the chance of any meaningful international response. This brings us to the second question of what, if anything, the international community can do?
Yesterday France, the UK and Turkey led calls for a tough response from the UN. Washington, however, while stern in its response, was still fairly restrained. Some US officials, though, were more outspoken.
"If we are to salvage what remains of our credibility in the region, we must act soon," insisted Democrat Eliot Engel, the most senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
Should Mr Engel's call to act soon be heeded, there are three possible scenarios worth considering. The first is that the US and its European allies can either continue denying the evidence of chemical weapons use and turn something of a blind eye while continuing to support rebel forces to hasten Assad's demise.
What might replace him, however, is anyone's guess given the increasing influence of jihadist elements within the country.
The second scenario is a diplomatic one that involves trying to elicit co-operation from Russia, which already has a deep intelligence footprint in Syria and a military base at Tartus, to secure the chemical weapons stockpiles and influence Mr Assad to step down.
The third, most dangerous and far reaching outcome is that a military intervention in Syria to secure weapons of concern becomes inevitable, even though such a move would necessitate another lengthy and complex conflict in the Middle East, out of which there would be little chance of fashioning a moderate government that could reunite Syria.
For now, the body count in Syria keeps rising. Ever since the Iraq debacle, there has been an understandable public wariness of intervening in the Middle East. But given the horrific scenes from Ghouta appearing on our television screens over the past few days, one wonders how long it will remain possible for the international community to ignore the suffering in Syria?