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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 16:40 PM | 11-03-2018

US warns ‘unwise’ Syria

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned Syria on Sunday (March 11, 2018) it would be “very unwise” for government forces to use weaponized gas, as he cited unconfirmed reports of chlorine attacks in eastern Ghouta and slammed Russian support for Damascus.

Mattis stopped short of threatening to retaliate against Syrian forces if a chlorine attack were confirmed.

But he noted America’s cruise missile strike on April 6, 2017, on a Syrian air base over a sarin gas attack and said President Donald Trump had “full political manoeuvre room” to take whatever decision he believed was appropriate, Reuters reported.

“It would be very unwise for them to use weaponized gas. And I think President Trump made that very clear early in his administration,” Mattis said, speaking with a small group of reporters before landing in Oman.

Mattis said he did not currently have clear evidence of any recent chlorine gas attacks but noted numerous media reports about chlorine use.

Rescue workers and opposition activists in eastern Ghouta have accused the government of using chlorine gas during the campaign.

The government firmly denies this. Damascus and Moscow have accused rebels of planning to orchestrate poison gas attacks in order to draw blame onto the Syrian government.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to continue the offensive in eastern Ghouta, one of the deadliest in the war.


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