Mattis: The Syrian Regime 'Would Be Ill-Advised' to Use Chemical Weapons Again

Syria May Be Making New Types Of Chemical Weapons U.S. Officials Say

President Donald Trump's administration is warning Syria that further chemical attacks will be met with a strike like the salvo of 59 cruise missiles that lit up a Syrian air base in April 2017.

In line with the remarks issued by the State Department last week, Mattis suspects that the Syrian government has been negligent in destroying the chemical weaponry after entering into an agreement with Russian Federation. "Since two thousand-April 2014, there has been mounting evidence that Syria continues to illicitly possess chemical weapons and use them against its own people", states the report.

American officials have told multiple USA media outlets that Assad's regime has kept chemical weapons, officially banned by United Nations regulations, hidden inside the war-torn country despite an agreement to abolish those in 2013.

Syrian President Bashar Assad would be "ill-advised" to launch such attacks, Mattis told reporters Friday at the Pentagon.

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"Russia has not lived up to these commitments", Tillerson said.

Raising the alarm about the continued threat, US officials said it was highly likely that Assad kept a hidden stockpile of chemical weapons after 2013 that he failed to properly disclose.

Syria's government isn't the only chemical-weapons threat in the region, according to the officials.

Bombardment by the Syrian regime killed at least seven civilians Friday in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, east of Damascus, a monitoring group reported.

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He accused Russia of violating its own commitments under a 2013 US-Russia agreement to rid Syria of its chemical weapons stockpiles and an global treaty that bars their use.

If left unchecked, the U.S. officials added, Assad could use small chemical attacks in the hopes to redress the power imbalance in rebel-held areas as an "instrument of terror".

The official warned that Syria's chemical weapons could soon spread to other parts of the world, possible even the United States, unless the worldwide community steps up its pressure on Syria's leader Bashar al-Assad. After another alleged attack in April, President Donald Trump ordered a retaliatory missile strike, but 10 months later, the US and worldwide observers say the weapons are still used. "What I'm saying is that groups on the ground, NGOs, fighters on the ground have said that Sarin has been used", he said. UN Security Council resolutions and the Chemical Weapons Convention ban such weapons.

Syria's war has killed more than 340,000 people and displaced millions since it began in March 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

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