Syria denies United States allegations on chemical weapons

Michele Moreno
February 5, 2018

The U.S. has no evidence that the Syrian government recently has used deadly sarin nerve gas on its citizens but is looking into reports of its alleged use from people on the ground, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday.

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

"The foreign ministry condemns the false claims by the United States that the Syrian government used chemical weapons in Eastern Ghouta", a foreign ministry source said, cited by Syrian state news agency SANA.

Mattis says it is clear that Assad's government has weaponized and used chlorine gas in the Syrian civil war.

In April a year ago, 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.

Raising the alarm about the continued threat of the chemical weapons, USA officials said it was "highly likely" that Assad kept a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons after 2013 that he failed to properly disclose.

Declining to specify how serious a chemical attack would have to be to draw a fresh USA military response the United States official said,"We reserve the right to use military force to prevent or deter the use of chemical weapons".

In 2013, Syria said it would give up all of its chemical weapons. Mattis hinted at such action on Friday, referencing a US missile strike on a Syrian military airfield previous year.

Syria has staunchly denied the claims, pointing to its 2013 handover of its chemical stores as part of a deal between the United States and Russian Federation. The US officials also said Daesh militants have used chemical weapons such as sulfur mustard and chlorine and have employed improvised explosive devices to deliver the chemicals.

Other reports by Insurance News

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