Washington accuses Damascus of committing chemical attack in Idlib

This chemical attack had four wounded on May 19. Mike Pompeo assured that a response will follow, a strong message expressed in fear of new raids.

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The United States has confirmation that a chemical attack was indeed committed by the Syrian regime on May 19 in Idlib. "The United States has concluded that the (Bashar) Al-Assad had used chlorine as a chemical weapon " in its campaign to recapture the last jihadist stronghold in the north-west of the country, said Thursday, September 26, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. This attack does not "Will not go unanswered", he added, without further details, while the Syrian conflict has already made 370,000 dead since 2011.

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During a meeting with the press, Jim Jeffrey, US Special Representative for Syria, recalled that the attack had four wounded. But even without death, it was the first chemical attack in a year and the United States will send a strong message. "We are concerned that the regime, whose infantry forces are very weak, is trying again to use chemical weapons to compensate for its inability to regain ground", he said.

"The United States will continue to pressure the Assad regime to put an end to violence against Syrian civilians and to participate in the political process (conflict resolution) under the aegis of the UN "said Mike Pompeo.

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A Western response targeted in the past

In recent years, US President Donald Trump has repeatedly responded with strikes against the Syrian regime, marking his difference with his predecessor Barack Obama. This change of foot was then perceived as a sign of weakness against Damascus and his Russian ally. In agreement with Russia, the United States had then obtained the principle of dismantling the stockpile of Syrian chemical weapons.

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In April 2017, Donald Trump ordered the firing of 59 cruise missiles at Al-Chaayrate airbase following a sarin gas attack in Khan Cheikhoun in Idlib province. A few days earlier, an air raid had killed at least 83 people in this locality controlled by rebels and jihadists. Doctors had reported symptoms similar to those found on victims of chemical attacks.

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A year later, the United States, France and the United Kingdom carried out joint strikes of retaliation on 14 April against the regime's military positions in response to a chemical attack in Duma, a suburb of Damascus. A week earlier, the White Helmets (rescuers) and the Syrian American Medical Society reported that more than 40 people were killed in a "Toxic gases" in Douma and accused Damascus. The Western response has always remained strictly focused and punctual.

The regime and its Russian ally denied each time any responsibility in these attacks, denouncing in return staging or accusing the rebels of being the perpetrators.


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