US Warns Syria Could Be Growing New Varieties Of Chemical Weapons

Assad regime's airstrikes over Eastern Goutha

The officials say the militants are using shells or improvised explosive devices to deliver the chemicals.

The US officials claimed that Syrian armed forces have "evolved" their chemical weapons and occasionally used them in smaller amounts since 2017.

"We're looking for evidence of it, since clearly we are dealing with the Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlaw actions", he said.

The ministry said in a statement that the USA remarks about the use of chemical weapons in the Eastern Ghouta region of the east of the capital Damascus are "false claims".

The US launched airstrikes against a Syrian government military base last April after more than 80 people were killed in a sarin gas attack against a town held by the Syrian opposition. Unlike sarin, chlorine gas is relatively easy to produce and is not banned by the Chemical Weapons Convention.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have continued occasional use of chemical weapons in smaller amounts since a deadly attack last April that drew a USA missile strike on a Syrian air base, the officials told reporters in a briefing.

The Syrian army and government have consistently denied using chlorine or other chemical weapons during the war and has said it cooperates with worldwide investigations.

"We take the allegations of chemical weapons use very seriously and are working with our partners on the ground to investigate the reports", she said, calling on the global community "to hold the perpetrators of these attacks accountable, and will speak with a united voice in condemnation". Mattis hinted at such action on Friday, referencing a US missile strike on a Syrian military airfield a year ago.

Mattis told reporters the Syrian government had committed multiple attacks using chlorine gas.

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