USA ready to hit Syrian chemical weapons

A Syrian boy holds an oxygen mask over the face of an infant at a make-shift hospital following a reported gas attack on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma

US officials have said the Syrian government may be also developing new types of chemical weapons.

The United States is concerned about the potential use of sarin gas in Syria, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday, a day after Washington warned it was prepared to consider military action if necessary to deter chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government.

The officials said the characteristics of recent alleged attacks suggested the creation of new, different chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's government.

Despite Damascus agreeing to destroy its 1,300-tonne stockpile of industrial munition following a US-Russian deal after the Ghouta attack in 2013, United Nations inspectors found evidence of an ongoing chemical weapons programme in the country.

North Korea has been trying to help Syria's Assad build his chemical weapons programme IBTimes US.

"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 April of 2017, Trump ordered an attack on a Syrian airbase after a chemical attack blamed on the Syrian regime in Khan Sheikhun.

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"All of the countries condemned [chemical] gas use", Laith said, "but the regime continues to bomb us".

In a recently released annual report, the White Helmets said that as many as 1,337 civilians had been killed in Eastern Ghouta past year amid ongoing attacks by regime forces.

The officials briefed reporters on condition of anonymity.

Long-time ally Russian Federation has also rejected claims about the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and called into question the results of the OCPW inquiries.

In the past, former Libyan officials claimed that ISIS and other terrorist groups had gotten hold of the chemical weapons that had remained in Libya from the regime of former dictator Muammar Qaddafi.

These charges surface just as when the Syrian regime is thought to be behind a suspected chlorine attack on Eastern Ghouta, one of the last strongholds held by anti-Assad rebels, recently. The opposition-run Ghouta Media Center reported in a posting on its Facebook page that three people were killed and dozens suffered shortness of breath as a result of surface-to-surface missiles, some of them carrying chlorine gas.

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