Syria Might Be Making New Chemical Weapons

1 2018 shows members of the civil defence removing the remnants of a rocket reportedly fired by regime forces on the outskirts of the rebel-held besieged Syrian town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta

The Syrian regime has adapted its chemical weapons program since a 2013 disarmament deal and appears to be continuing to produce and employ banned chemical munitions, including the nerve agent sarin, the Trump administration said Thursday.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime has been linked to multiple chemical weapons attacks, and the U.S. suspects Russian Federation is enabling it.

"We are actively working with our partners on this issue and on all reports of new chemical attacks in Syria", von der Muhll said.

Pro-regime forces have continued occasional use of chemical weapons in smaller amounts since a deadly attack last April that drew a USA missile strike on a Syrian air base, the officials told reporters in a briefing.

The Syrian Government may be developing new types of chemical weapons, and United States President Donald Trump is prepared to consider further military action if necessary to deter chemical attacks, senior U.S. officials say.

"They'd be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical convention", Mattis said Friday, referring to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on their Destruction.

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Damascus has denied using any chemical weapons in the seven-year conflict, blaming the rebels on using it on themselves. "What I am saying is that other groups on the ground - NGOs, fighters on the ground - have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence".

Senior US officials claimed the Syrian government may be developing new types of chemical weapons.

Mr Assad's forces have instead "evolved" their chemical weapons and made continued occasional use of them in smaller amounts since the attacks previous year, the officials told reporters in a briefing. The Islamic State (Isis) group has been accused of using mustard and chlorine gas in the civil war by delivering those using shells or improvised explosive devices.

Mattis, speaking with reporters, said the Syrian government had repeatedly used chlorine as a weapon. Nearly all independent analysts and investigators agree the Syrian regime is the culprit of the chemical attacks.

Bombardment by the Syrian regime killed at least 11 civilians Friday in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus, a monitoring group reported. The French-led body is tasked with seeking accountability for chemical weapon use. The opposition-run Ghouta Media Center reported in a posting on its Facebook page that three people were killed and dozens suffered shortness of breath as a result of surface-to-surface missiles, some of them carrying chlorine gas.

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