US Defense Secretary James Mattis has not ruled out the possibility of launching airstrikes against Syria in response to an alleged chemical attack in the militant-held town of Douma.
Speaking with reports on Monday, Mattis said he wouldn’t “rule out anything right now” after being asked if the US was mulling strikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“The first thing we have to look at is why chemical weapons are still being used at all. Russia was the framework guarantor of removing all the chemical weapons and so working with our allies and partners, from NATO to Qatar and elsewhere we are going to address this issue,” he added.
Saturday’s alleged chemical attack in Douma, Eastern Ghouta, comes as pro-government forces conclude an operation that has liberated nearly the entire region from Islamic militants. The alleged chemical incident was reported by the White Helmets, a controversial group repeatedly accused of having ties to terrorists and it could not be confirmed by Red Crescent medics on the ground.
The Russian military said they reserve the right to shoot down missiles and destroy launch sites in the event of US aggression against Syria, Moscow’s envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin has warned.
Zasypkin stressed that “the Russian forces will confront any US aggression on Syria, by intercepting the missiles and striking their launch pads,” al-Manar TV website reported, citing the envoy.
Speaking to the channel, the ambassador also said that the allegations of a chemical attack were being used to justify “offensive acts” in Syria, while “the US and Western escalation against Syria will lead to a major crisis.”
MADNESS! I WARNED THE WORLD BOLTON WAS A WAR MONGER WHO GOT BUSH INTO IRAQ! WHY WOULD ASSAD AND RUSSIA GAS WHEN WINNING WAR! MR PRESIDENT STOP BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE https://t.co/g27NBHrfcX
— Michael Savage (@ASavageNation) April 11, 2018