Syrians treated for 'suffocation' from 'toxic gas' after regime airstrikes

Casey Dawson
February 5, 2018

AFP news agency also reported senior officials as saying the U.S. was not ruling out military force in response to future chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government.

Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon on Friday that the U.S.is looking for evidence to support the claims.

Such allegations were timed to undermine the efforts to resolve the Syrian war through a peaceful settlement between the Syrians without foreign interventions, it noted.

The Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue group said that three of its rescuers and six others were injured by chlorine gas in Saraqeb, a rebel-held town less than 16 kilometers (10 miles) from the front line with government forces.

Most recently, Western officials have cast suspicion on the Syrian government for a chlorine gas attack on a rebel-held enclave east of Damascus last week that sickened at least 13 people.

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.

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However, the Syrian Negotiations Commission (SNC), an opposition group, said chemical weapons had been used by the government of Bashar al-Assad in Ghouta.

"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.

On Thursday, the Trump administration accused Assad of producing and using "new kinds of weapons" to deliver deadly chemicals.

The secretary of state said must stop vetoing U.N. Security Council resolutions on holding those who use such weapons accountable.

However, another official said that the Trump administration hopes that stepped-up worldwide sanctions and diplomatic pressure against Damascus will help rein in Syria's chemical weapons program. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.

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