Syrian civilians hit by chlorine gas attack, activists say

Posted February 05, 2018

"We're looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions", Mattis said.

PARIS (AP) - is ultimately to blame for any use of chemical weapons in Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday amid reports of a suspected chemical attack this week near the capital, Damascus.

On Thursday, senior United States administration officials said Washington was not ruling out fresh military action in the wake of new suspected attacks.

Amidst conflicting reports about presence of chemical weapons with Syrian government, senior USA officials have claimed President Donald Trump is prepared to launch military action, if necessary, against Damascus, which they claim is possibly developing new types of chemical weapons.

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The US accusations of chemical weapons use in Eastern Ghouta are groundless, the Syrian Foreign Ministry said adding that Damascus strongly condemned such statements.

He said that non-governmental organizations and fighters on the ground in Syria had reported sarin use, and that the US was looking into the matter.

Syrian activists said on Sunday that civilians have suffered chlorine gas poisoning during an attack on the rebel-held town of Saraqeb in Idlib province, The Associated Press reported.

The officials say it's "highly likely" that Syria kept a stockpile of weapons.

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The April 2017 attack on Khan Sheikhun left scores dead and prompted the USA to fire 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at a Syrian air field. It was followed by missile strikes by United States military on a Syrian air base.

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, or HTS, a powerful rebel alliance that publicly split from al-Qaeda a year ago, said it had used a man-portable antiaircraft system to shoot down the Su-25 fighter jet.

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

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