Syria rejects USA accusations of chemical weapons use


Defense Secretary Jim Mattis says the US has no evidence that the Syrian government has used the deadly chemical sarin on its citizens despite reports from aid groups and others in the country.

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

"We do not have evidence", Mattis told reporters, as quoted by Politico on Friday, adding that it appears chlorine was used in the attacks, but "we are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use".

Declining to specify how serious a chemical attack would have to be to draw a fresh USA military response the U.S. official said,"We reserve the right to use military force to prevent or deter the use of chemical weapons".

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Kumar said around 6-7 crore persons fall into poverty each year due to medical expenses and they are often in non-poor category. For instance, some private hospitals that charge up to Rs3 lakh for angioplasty and stenting, do the same surgery for ₹65,000.

Rescue workers and medical groups working in the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, near Damascus, have accused government forces of using chlorine gas three times over the last month, including early on Thursday.

Syria's Foreign Ministry has dismissed as "null and void" US accusations that President Bashar Assad's government is producing and using "new kinds of weapons" to deliver deadly chemicals despite committing to abolish its program in 2013. President Donald Trump said the attack was meant to deter further Syrian use of illegal weapons.

"Russia's failure to resolve the chemical weapons issue in Syria calls into question its relevance to the resolution of the overall crisis".

"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. In the past two years, a joint United Nations and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inquiry found the Syrian government used the nerve agent sarin and several times used chlorine as a weapon. Make a donation and help pay for our journalism.