Mattis warns Syria towards utilizing chemical weapons

Feb 03, 2018, 09:44
Mattis warns Syria towards utilizing chemical weapons

"We also continue to be concerned that the Syrian regime maintains chemical stockpiles for use in these weapons and refuses to disclose these stockpiles or its chemical weapons program in violation of the CWC [Chemical Weapons Convention] and its worldwide obligations", it added.

After another alleged attack in April 2017, President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory missile strike, but 10 months later, the US and global observers say the weapons are still used.

In November, Russia cast its 10th veto of United Nations Security Council action on Syria since the war began in 2011, blocking a US-drafted resolution to renew an global inquiry into who is to blame for chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

Declining to give further information, officials said Syria may be developing a new delivery method that would make it harder to trace the origin of the attacks. Rebel forces have been fighting Assad in a gruesome civil war for years.

The regime appears to have weaponized chlorine again, Mattis said, but "we are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use".

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There have been increasing reports from Syria that its military has returned to using chemical weapons.

The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Several children were also affected, the group said.

Syrian President Bashar Assad would be "ill-advised" to launch such attacks, Mattis told reporters Friday at the Pentagon. Mattis said he does not believe that Syria has kept to the brokered by the United States and Russian Federation that required the Assad regime to relinquish their chemical weapons.

The United States is concerned that sarin gas was recently used in Syria, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said today.

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"Chemical weapons are being used in Ghouta and we have proof", SNC spokesman Yahya al-Aridi told Reuters.

"Russia has not lived up to these commitments", Tillerson said. The officials noted that the underlying chemicals are easy to acquire or produce and that the USA does not believe the Islamic State has gotten hold of military stockpiles in either Iraq or Syria. After another alleged attack in April, President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory missile strike, but 10 months later, the US and worldwide observers say the weapons are still used.

On one day last month, two separate chlorine attacks were reported in rebel-held towns.

The reports could not be independently verified and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war in Syria via activists on the ground, was unable to confirm the reports either.

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