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Sun, 17 Nov 2019 14:25 GMT

US Suspects Syria in New Chemical Attack, Threatens Reprisal


7Dnews London

Wed, 22 May 2019 10:44 GMT

The United States said on Tuesday May 21st that it suspected Syrian government forces have carried out a fresh chemical attack and it threatened reprisals. 

The State Department said it was assessing indications that the government used chemical weapons on Sunday during its offensive in Idlib, the most significant remaining holdout in Syria of rebels, AFP has reported.  

"We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad government uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement. 

She also denounced Russia, the key ally of Damascus, for what she called a "disinformation campaign" as it tries to blame other parties for chemical attacks.

"The Assad government's culpability in horrific chemical weapons attacks is undeniable," Ortagus said. 

Russia and Turkey, the key ally of the rebels, in September 2018 reached an agreement that nominally protects Idlib amid fears for the safety of some three million people in the north-western area. 

However, Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, has seized a large part of the province and adjoining areas, triggering a government offensive that includes strikes by Syrian and Russian warplanes.

Middle East US & Canada