Mattis Warns Syria To not Use Chemical Weapons

US warns Syria on chemical weapons amid deepening dispute with Russia

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.

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 US missile strike on a Syrian air base, the officials told reporters in a briefing.

The US officials claimed that Syrian armed forces have "evolved" their chemical weapons and occasionally used them in smaller amounts since 2017. "Clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions", he remarked. Mattis told reporters that sarin gas is something that has been weaponized and that "we are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, the likelihood of sarin use, and we're looking for the evidence".

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However, the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC), an opposition group, said chemical weapons had been used by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Ghouta.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry on Saturday rejected the USA claims about the Syrian government using chemical weapons in the war as "lies". "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.

A deadly sarin attack on another rebel-held area in April 2017 prompted President Donald Trump to order a United States missile strike on the Shayrat airbase, from which the Syrian operation is said to have been launched. That strike followed a deadly chemical weapons attack by Assad's government. Mattis hinted at such action on Friday, referencing a US missile strike on a Syrian military airfield previous year.

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