Syria denies USA allegations on chemical weapons

A Syrian couple grieving for their children murdered in a chemical weapons attack on Aleppo.

The Pentagon chief cited reports from NGOs and rebel groups in the battlefield who say the toxic gas has been used, although he stressed that the United States now has no proof to support those accusations.

The United States frequently accuses the Syrian government of developing and using chemical weapons in order to "justify its illegal and criminal acts" in the war-ravaged country, says an American analyst.

Mattis made the remarks after senior United States officials said Trump was prepared to order more strikes amid reports that the Syrian government is developing new types of chemical weapons.

Assad's government is believed to have kept part of its chemical weapons stockpile despite a US-Russian deal under which Damascus was supposed to have handed over all those weapons for destruction in 2014, the officials said.

"Chemical weapons are being used in Ghouta and we have proof", SNC spokesman Yahya al-Aridi told Reuters.

He says the U.S.is "even more concerned" about the possible use of the nerve agent sarin.

However, Russia described the OPCW report as "very biased" arguing the report failed to address the question of who was responsible for the use of the chemical substance.

"We are on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical (weapons) convention", Mattis added.

In June past year, the fact finding team of Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), published the results of its probe of the April 4 incident confirming that the nerve gas sarin was used in Khan Shaykhun incident.

Characteristics of some of those recent attacks suggest that Syria may be developing new weapons and methods for delivering poison chemicals, possibly to make it harder to trace their origin, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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  • Rogelio Becker