Mattis Warns Syria To not Use Chemical Weapons

The foreign ministry's denial came a day after U.S. Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman MattisTrump goes dark on Russian Federation and the real threat to our State of the Union The Hill's 12:30 Report Report: Mattis considering personal cellphone ban at Pentagon MORE accused the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad of repeatedly using chlorine gas to attack rebel-held parts of Syria. He stressed that the USA did not have evidence of sarin gas use.

"We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use".

Last month, activists claimed the Syrian forces used chlorine in an attack on the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta countryside of Damascus, causing 21 people to suffer from breathing difficulties.

"Chemical weapons are being used in Ghouta and we have proof", SNC spokesman Yahya al-Aridi told Reuters.

The Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group said that three of its rescuers and six others were injured by chlorine gas in Saraqeb, a rebel-held town less than 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the front line with government forces.

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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.

In 2013, Syria said it would give up all of its chemical weapons.

The Trump administration says that they reserve right to take military action against the Syrian government if needed to prevent or deter use of chemical weapons. "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.

AFP news agency also reported senior officials as saying the United States was not ruling out military force in response to future chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government.

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