US Gathering Info On Alleged Chemical Weapons Use In Syria On May 19 - State Dept.
WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 22nd May, 2019) The United States is collecting information regarding an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria over the weekend and warns the government of President Bashar Assad that it will quickly respond if Damascus' use of chemical weapons is confirmed, US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
"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, 2019. 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," the statement said on Tuesday.
On Friday, the Russian Defense Ministry said militants of the Nusra Front terror group (banned in Russia) were preparing to stage a false-flag provocation in Syria's Idlib province to frame the Russian Aerospace Forces and the Syrian army for allegedly attacking civilians with chemical weapons.
The head of the Russian center for Syrian reconciliation, Maj. Gen. Viktor Kupchishin, said Tuesday that terrorists operating in the Idlib de-escalation zone possess a significant amount of poisonous substances with which they fill the munitions to use in staged provocations aimed at accusing the Syrian army of "chemical attacks" against the civilian population.
Last year, the United States, United Kingdom and France used the claims of chemical attacks in Syria's Khan Sheikhoun, Douma and Eastern Ghuta to justify missile strikes on Syria, without waiting for the results of an independent investigation. The Syrian government denies any role in the attacks.
The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) published a report in March suggesting that chlorine was likely used in Eastern Ghuta, but stopped short of apportioning blame for the attack.