U.S. does not rule out ‘anything’ after suspected Syria gas attack

U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis April 20, 2017. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Monday he would not rule out “anything” after a suspected chemical attack in Syria triggered speculation about a U.S. military response, and he piled blame on Russia for falling short on its obligations to ensure that Syria abandoned its chemical weapons capabilities.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Sunday there would be a “big price to pay” after aid groups said dozens of people were killed by poison gas in a besieged rebel-held town in Syria, an attack the opposition blamed on Syrian government forces.

“The first thing we have to look at is why are chemical weapons still being used at all when Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons. And so, working with our allies and our partners from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere, we are going to address this issue,” Mattis said before the start of a meeting with Qatar’s Emir.

Mattis had been asked if the U.S. was capable of striking President Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons facilities.

When asked if he could rule out taking actions, like launching airstrikes against Assad, Mattis said: “I don’t rule out anything right now.”

The Syrian government denied its forces had launched any chemical assault, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said such allegations were false and a provocation.

U.S. government sources said Washington’s assessment was that chemical weapons were used in a besieged rebel-held town in Syria, but they are still evaluating details.

Syrian children reportedly killed in the April 2018 chemical weapons attack. President Trump tweeted early Sunday morning, "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” he wrote.
Syrian children reportedly killed in the April 2018 chemical weapons attack. President Trump tweeted early Sunday morning, “Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria. “President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay,” he wrote.

Assad is believed to have secretly kept part of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile despite a U.S.-Russian deal under which Damascus was supposed to have handed over all such weapons for destruction in 2014, officials have said in recent months

A deadly sarin attack on a rebel-held area prompted Trump to order a missile strike last year on the Shayrat air base.

REUTERS

  • vs

    Omega, what about Britain and Israel? Have you monopoly to mourn about killed also not chemically? How many, have you evidence how many, infosharmuta?

  • vs

    Al Hussein believes that
    some states directly involved in the military conflict in Syria have
    failed and have not stopped the spread of chemical weapons. According to him, over the past five years, such weapons have been used in the country 35 times

    Trump says ‘major decisions’ on Syria coming in next 24 to 48 hours http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/trump-major-decisions-syria-coming-24-48-hours/story?id=54337412

  • vs

    “Russia warned the US of serious consequences in case of a blow to Syria”

  • vs

    The American destroyer Donald Cook, equipped with 60 Tomahawk missiles, went 100 kilometers to the Syrian city of Tartus. This is reported by the Turkish edition of Hurriyet http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/dunya/son-dakika-abd-gemisi-suriyeye-hareket-etti-rus-jetleri-havalandi-40799883

  • Arzna

    Mr Mattis lets see some action , since we are tired of words and red lines . The action should be against the Russians and Iranians who are backing the Syrian regime , without their help and Obama’s redlines the Assad regime would have been gone years ago

  • Vlad Pufagtinenko

    Russians excel at killing women and children. A nation of vermin.