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September 29, 2019 8:50 am

US Accuses Syria of Chlorine Attack, Pledges to Not Let It Go ‘Unchallenged’

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A poster of Syrian President Bashar Assad attached to a checkpoint on the outskirts of Damascus, Jan. 14, 2012. Photo: Elizabeth Arrott via Wikimedia Commons. – The United States has accused Syria of conducting a chemical-weapons attack on May 19, which US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo vowed won’t go “unchallenged.”

“The Assad regime is responsible for innumerable atrocities some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” he said at a press conference on Thursday.

“The United States will not allow these attacks to go unchallenged, nor will we tolerate those who choose to conceal these atrocities,” he added, without previewing any retaliation.

Pompeo did announce that the United States would give $4.5 million in funding to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the UN chemical-weapons watchdog.

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“This is different in some sense in that it was chlorine, so it’s a bit of a different situation,” he said.

US Special Representative for Syria Engagement James Jeffrey later told reporters, “We’re not going to tie ourselves down to any military or political, diplomatic action. … Four people were wounded. It was four months.”

While US officials received reports in May about a possible chemical attack in northwest Syria, they did not determine an absolute founding at the time.

In April 2017 and April 2018, the Trump administration launched strikes in response to chemical attacks allegedly committed by Syrian President Bashar Assad against his own people.

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