‘It was chlorine’: Mike Pompeo accuses Bashar Assad of employing chemical weapons – Washington Examiner

Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces made use of chemical weapons through an assault in opposition to the last rebel-held area of the country, according to Secretary of Point out Mike Pompeo.

“The United States has concluded that the Assad routine made use of chlorine as a chemical weapon on May well 19th,” Pompeo told reporters at the United Nations General Assembly in New York. “The United States will not allow these attacks to go unchallenged, nor will we tolerate those people who decide on to conceal these atrocities.”

Pompeo’s announcement follows months of investigation into the incident, marking the 3rd time that the U.S. federal government has accused Assad of working with chemical weapons given that 2017. President Trump has taken care of the use of chemical weapons in Syria as a “red line” that provokes military retaliation, but Pompeo was ambiguous about how he could respond in this circumstance.

“This is different in some feeling, in that it was chlorine, so it’s a little bit of a various circumstance,” he explained. “But know that President Trump has been rather vigorous in guarding the entire world from the use of chemical weapons.”

Trump ordered strikes against the Assad regime two occasions. The 1st U.S. retaliation on Assad’s forces was prompted by the use of a chemical weapon, in April of 2017, that international investigators recognized as sarin gasoline. U.S. and western allies hit Assad’s regime all over again last year, adhering to an April 2018 incident in a Damascus suburb. “This harmful chemical contained reactive chlorine,” the Group for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons declared following an investigation. “The poisonous chemical was very likely molecular chlorine.”

A Protection Division spokesman declined to elaborate on Pompeo’s remarks. Senate International Relations Chairman James Risch identified as for Congress to go legislation imposing further sanctions on the Assad regime.

“This horrific assault is just one particular of the numerous atrocities perpetrated by the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian backers over the system of Syria’s eight-yr-long civil war,” Risch, an Idaho Republican, claimed Thursday evening. “The routine and its backers have to be held to account for their crimes, some of which rise to the level of war crimes.”

In the meantime, the Trump administration is escalating funding for the OPCW to look into chemical weapons assaults. The Treasury Division also blacklisted a Russian source community that has “been facilitating the illicit transfer of jet fuel to the Russian armed forces in Syria,” a top rated Treasury Department official declared previously Thursday. Russia, which offers Assad with critical navy guidance, has echoed his promises of innocence about chemical weapons attacks throughout the conflict.

“The Syrian regime really should know and the environment must take pleasure in the point that we’re going to do everything we can reasonably do to reduce this sort of factor from happening yet again, which starts with identifying both of those what took position and who ought to correctly be held accountable for that,” Pompeo mentioned.

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