According to the US, the Syrian government may use chemical weapons in northwestern Syria. There are signs of a chlorine gas attack on Sunday.
The US claims to have indications of a possible new chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops. A statement by the State Department mentions a „suspected chlorine gas attack in northwestern Syria on the morning of May 19.“ The instructions will be followed up. Thus, the chemical weapons could have been used during the offensive in the jihadist-controlled Idlib region.
„We repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the US and our allies will respond swiftly and appropriately,“ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. US President Donald Trump and his government have threatened Assad several times in the past with severe consequences for the use of chemical weapons. The Syrian government claims that it no longer has chemical weapons since a 2013 agreement.
The US State Department accused the Syrian leadership and its allied Russia of falsely accusing other groups of using chemical weapons. The Russian military claims that militias attacked the Syrian government. Detained militiamen affiliated with al-Qaeda’s terrorist militia reported on the plan to fabricate chemical weapons attacks and hold the Syrian government responsible, said Russian Major General Viktor Kuptschischin.
In the Syrian conflict poison gas has been used several times. For an attack with the poison gas Sarin on the village Chan Scheichun in April 2017 with more than 80 dead, the UN had blamed the government troops. Also, in April 2018, when a chemical weapons strike in the former rebel bastion of East Ghuta killed more than 40 people, western states blamed the government. The United States, France and Britain then flew retaliatory attacks on chemical weapons installations in Syria. Syria and Russia have always rejected such allegations.