Warning for Assad after latest attack

Warning for Assad after latest attack

Warning for Assad after latest attack

President Donald Trump administration in the White House believes it is possible that Assad's forces may be developing this chemical weapon either in its attempt to improvise the capabilities or to escape a possible detection.

"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.

WASHINGTON-The Trump administration warned Syria about an increase in the use of poison gas against civilians, despite last year's cruise-missile strike aimed at deterring the Assad regime from carrying out such attacks.

US officials have said the Syrian government may be also developing new types of chemical weapons.

A second official said, however, that the Trump administration hopes that stepped-up global sanctions and diplomatic pressure will help rein in Mr Assad's chemical weapons programme.

Rebel forces have been fighting Assad in a gruesome civil war for years.

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US State Department spokesman Heather Nauert said that reports of chlorine gas being used against civilians in Eastern Ghouta were "very concerning".

But there have been repeated reports of smaller chemical attacks on civilian areas. 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. "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".

More recent attacks have involved both chlorine, which has nonchemical uses and is easier to acquire, and the more sophisticated chemical sarin, the officials said.

"The recent attacks in East Ghouta raise serious concerns that Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime might be continuing its use of chemical weapons against its own people", Tillerson, reported Voice of America. In April of 2017, Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian airbase after a chemical attack blamed on the Syrian regime in Khan Sheikhun.

Mattis, speaking with reporters, said the Syrian government had repeatedly used chlorine as a weapon.

Douma is in the Eastern Ghouta, a suburb east of Damascus where nearly 400,000 people have been under siege by the Syrian government and allied militia since 2013.

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