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Syria denies United States allegations on chemical weapons

05 February, 2018, 06:19 | Author: Kristen Ingram
  • Assad regime's airstrikes over Eastern Goutha

Last Thursday, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert told reporters that the US administration is "extremely concerned" about the latest report of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government forces in rebel-held East Ghouta.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis issued a stern warning on Friday to Syria, urging the regime to abstain from using chemical weapons.

"We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, (but) I don't have the evidence,"Mattis said".

"We are on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical (weapons) convention", Mattis said.

The Syrian government denied the accusations, saying it's rebels who mounted the attack to frame the government and draw in a military action from the US.

The U.S. has sought to step up pressure on the Syrian government in recent weeks over its use of chemical weapons.

The officials also say Syria may be making new kinds of weapons, either to improve their military capability or to escape worldwide accountability.

The French government announced Tuesday that it is freezing the assets of companies that help furnish material to the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, a Syrian lab accused of producing chemical weapons.

In April past year, the United States struck a military base in central Syria with more than 50 Tomahawk missiles, in retaliation for an alleged chemical attack by the government forces on a rebel-held town in the northwestern province of Idlib. Mattis hinted at such action on Friday, referencing a USA missile strike on a Syrian military airfield past year.

However, Syria and Russian Federation had rejected the USA claims, suggesting that militants might have detonated the chemical weapons on the ground.

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