US says it suspects the Assad regime may have used chemical weapons

Mail Online | 5/21/2019 | Dailymail.com Reporter
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The United States said on Tuesday that it suspected that Syrian government forces have carried out a fresh chemical attack.

The State Department said it was assessing indications that the regime used chemical weapons on Sunday during its offensive in Idlib, the most significant remaining holdout in Syria of jihadist rebels.

Signs - Assad - Regime - Use - Chemical

'Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19,' State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

'We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately,' Ortagus added.

Ortagus - Attack - Part - Violent - Campaign

Ortagus said the alleged attack was part of a violent campaign by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces violating a ceasefire that has protected several million civilians in the greater Idlib area.

'The Assad regime's culpability in horrific chemical weapons attacks is undeniable,' Ortagus said, adding that the 'regime's attacks against the communities of northwest Syria must end'.

Russia - Ally - Damascus - 'disinformation - Campaign

She also denounced Russia, the key ally of Damascus, for what she called a 'disinformation campaign' as it tries to blame other parties for chemical attacks.

Russia and Turkey, the key ally of the rebels, in September reached an agreement that nominally protects Idlib amid fears for the safety of some three million people in the northwestern area.

Syria - Al-Qaeda - Affiliate - Hayat - Tahrir

But Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, has seized a large part of the province and adjoining areas, triggering a regime offensive that includes strikes by Syrian and Russian airplanes.

Ortagus said that the offensive has 'destroyed known health facilities, schools, residences and internally displaced person camps'.

United - States - Warning - President - Donald

'The United States reiterates its warning, first issued by President Donald Trump in September 2018, that an attack...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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