US: Syria may be using chemical weapons

THE United States has seen signs the Syrian government may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack on Sunday in northwest Syria, the US State Department says.

The department made the claim on Tuesday, adding Washington and its allies would respond quickly if chemical weapon use was confirmed.

“We continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19,” a State Department spokeswoman said.


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“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.”

Ortagus said the alleged attack was part of a violent campaign by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, violating a ceasefire.

“The United States reiterates its warning, first issued by President Trump in September 2018, that an attack against the Idlib de-escalation zone would be a reckless escalation,” the spokeswoman said.

President Donald Trump’s administration has twice bombed Syria over Assad’s alleged use of chemical weapons, in April 2017 and April 2018.

In September, a senior US official said there was evidence showing chemical weapons were being prepared by Syrian government forces in Idlib, the last major rebel stronghold in the country.

The State Department statement accused Russia and Assad’s forces of “a continuing disinformation campaign … to create the false narrative that others are to blame for chemical weapons attacks.”

© RAW 2019