United States investigating possible sarin gas attacks in Syria: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

04 February, 2018, 01:41 | Author: Roderick Gutierrez
  • US may use force after Syria found to have developed new chemical weapons

"We think that they didn't carry out what they said they'd do", Mattis.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have continued occasional use of chemical weapons in smaller amounts since a deadly attack last April that drew a USA missile strike on a Syrian air base, the officials told reporters in a briefing.

France said on Friday it was "deeply concerned" that Syria's government was flouting its pledges to stop using chemical weapons and Paris was working with its partners to shed light on recent suspected toxic gas attacks.

"We are on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical (weapons) convention", Mattis said.

The US accusations of chemical weapons use in Eastern Ghouta are groundless, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said adding that Damascus strongly condemned such statements.


Washington said this week that it could consider military action against the Syrian government if it continued to use chemical weapons.

Mattis said the Syrian government has weaponized and used chlorine gas in the Syrian civil war, and that the U.S.is "even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use".

They emphasized that the United States was seeking a new way to hold chemical weapons-users accountable and wanted cooperation from Russia, Assad's patron, in pressuring him to end the attacks.

However, another official said that the Trump administration hopes that stepped-up global sanctions and diplomatic pressure against Damascus will help rein in Syria's chemical weapons program. "Since two thousand-April 2014, there has been mounting evidence that Syria continues to illicitly possess chemical weapons and use them against its own people", "There is simply no denying that Russian Federation, by shielding its Syrian ally, has breached its commitments to the United States as a framework guarantor", it continues.

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