US: Signs that Syrian gov't is using chemical weapons

State Department says there are signs that Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, warns of response.

Elad Benari,

UN chemical weapons experts in Syria
UN chemical weapons experts in Syria
Reuters

The United States sees signs that the Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack on Sunday in northwest Syria, the State Department said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

“We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately,” said the State Department in a statement.

Western powers, led by the United States, have in the past blamed the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad for carrying out attacks on civilians using chemical weapons.

The Syrian regime repeatedly denies having any connection to chemical weapons attacks in Syria.

In March, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) determined that chlorine was used in a deadly attack on the Syrian town of Douma in 2018, though it did not say who was responsible for the attack.

Syria agreed to destroy its chemical weapons in 2013 under a deal brokered by Moscow and Washington, but the OPCW has since found chlorine has been "systematically and repeatedly" used as a weapon.

Such chemical attacks in 2017 and earlier this year led the US to launch punitive strikes against Syrian forces.




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