Published: Sat, February 03, 2018
Worldwide | By Victor Meyer

Mattis Warns Syria Not to Use Chemical Weapons

Mattis Warns Syria Not to Use Chemical Weapons

Mattis, a retired four-star Marine Corps general, went on to say that Turkey's offensive against Syrian Kurdish militants in Afrin is a "distraction" from the fight against the Islamic State in Syria. "They just continue to commit really unspeakable atrocities".

There were no indications that the Syrian government, after seven years of civil war, had developed new, deadlier chemicals.

But the two US officials say the attacks have evolved and grown more sophisticated from the days when Syria "gassed" its people by dropping barrel bombs of chlorine on them, with Assad's troops coming up with new ways to deliver the deadly payloads.

If not? "Our policy is zero tolerance of chemical weapons", the other official said.

United States officials said the characteristics of the recent alleged attacks suggest Syria was producing chemical weapons despite a 2013 deal to destroy its program, and that it was "highly likely" that Syria kept a stockpile of weapons.

The officials who spoke to reporters would only talk anonymously.

Several children were also affected, the group said.

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Mattis acknowledged those reports and said the Pentagon was looking for evidence to confirm them. He told reporters chlorine gas has been weaponized and used repeatedly by Syrian government.

The United States is concerned that sarin gas was recently used in Syria, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said today. He agreed to give up his stockpile of chemical weapons as part of 2013 deal after a sarin attack in Ghouta killed about 1,400 people.

"We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, and we are looking for the evidence", he said. The officials noted that the underlying chemicals are easy to acquire or produce and that the US does not believe the Islamic State has gotten hold of military stockpiles in either Iraq or Syria.

North Korea has been trying to help Syria's Assad build his chemical weapons programme IBTimes US.

The US State Department blamed Russian Federation for their "unwillingness or inability to restrain the Assad regime". In April of 2017, Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian airbase after a chemical attack blamed on the Syrian regime in Khan Sheikhun. The opposition-run Ghouta Media Center reported in a posting on its Facebook page that three people were killed and dozens suffered shortness of breath as a result of surface-to-surface missiles, some of them carrying chlorine gas.

The reports could not be independently verified.

Jan Egeland, United Nations humanitarian adviser, called on Thursday for a humanitarian pause in Eastern Ghouta where hundreds await medical evacuation.

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