Friday, 16 November, 2018

Syria denies US claims it used chemical weapons against rebel-held areas

The White Helmets hold banners as they stage a protest named Syria denies US claims it used chemical weapons against rebel-held areas
Faye Gross | 05 February, 2018, 06:15

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the USA has no evidence that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens despite reports from aid groups and others in the country.

Activists and rescue teams said the Syrian government launched an attack Monday with suspected poisonous gas that affected almost 20 civilians in a rebel-held suburb near Damascus. He stressed that the United States did not have evidence of sarin gas use.

He says the U.S.is "even more concerned" about the possible use of the nerve agent sarin.

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that the U.S.is looking for evidence to support the claims.

Mattis did not provide further details on which reports on the use of sarin he was referring to.

The Syrian government denied the accusations, saying it's rebels who mounted the attack to frame the government and draw in a military action from the US.

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On Thursday, the US State Department said it was "extremely concerned" about reports of an imminent chlorine gas attack against an opposition-held suburb outside of Damascus.

In April previous year, the U.S. struck a military base in central Syria with more than 50 Tomahawk missiles, in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by the government forces on a rebel-held town in the northwestern province of Idlib.

The US officials further said that Syrian authorities appeared to have embraced ground-based means for launching chemical strikes rather than the air attacks because the ground-based operations are hard to detect. "The OPCW (Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and Resolution) Fact-Finding Mission has confirmed multiple incidents of chemical weapons use in Syria, including the use of the toxic industrial chemical chlorine as a weapon", reads the.

The Trump Administration last week accused Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's Government of producing and using "new kinds of weapons" to deliver deadly chemical poisons. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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