US warns Assad, Russia on future chemical attacks
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would be well-advised to avoid conducting any future chemical attacks, Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Tuesday as he downplayed the likelihood of a potential Russian-U.S. conflagration, APA reports quoting Anadolu agency.
Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon the "Syrian regime should think long and hard before it again acts so recklessly in violation of international law against the use of chemical weapons.
"If they use chemical weapons they are going to pay a very, very stiff price," he added.
A senior White House official said earlier Tuesday that the U.S. is now confident Assad's forces did not declare their full chemical weapons stockpile following a chemical attack in 2013 that resulted in international actors requiring Damascus to formally announce and surrender its full collection of chemical weapons.
In response to the latest chemical attack in Syria's Idlib province that killed scores, the U.S. last week fired 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian military air base American officials believe was used to carry out the deadly April 4 attack.
The U.S. strike has frayed relations with Russia, who has warned against additional actions. But Mattis did not believe that the situation in Syria would result in the U.S. and Russia going to blows.
“I am confident the Russians will act in their own best interests, and there’s nothing in their best interests to say they want this situation to go out of control," Mattis said. "We maintain communications with the Russian military, and with the diplomatic channels, it will not spiral out of control."
He said the Pentagon does not have the authority to preemptively strike in Syria to thwart a potential chemical attack.
Related news releases
- 25.11.2017Next round of Syria peace talks in Geneva to begin November 28: opposition chief
- 25.11.2017Trump names White House budget director Mulvaney acting head of consumer agency
- 25.11.2017Dollar near two-month low as strong economic data underpins euro
- 25.11.2017U.S. crude tops two-year high as Keystone outage hits supply
- 24.11.2017Argentine gov’t may dismiss navy head for missing sub
- 23.11.2017UN says ongoing Daesh threat needs to be annihilated
- 23.11.2017Anomalous methane-rich comet 45p could be key to understanding origins of life
- 23.11.2017Trump to meet congressional leaders next week on legislative issues -White House
- 23.11.2017Ex-Olympics doctor faces 25 to 40 years in prison
- 23.11.2017U.S. welcomes Hariri's return to Lebanon: State Department official
- 23.11.2017U.S. crude pares gains, but lingers near 2-year high
- 23.11.2017U.S. calls Myanmar moves against Rohingya 'ethnic cleansing'
- 22.11.2017Attorney general says bodyguard accidentally kills Mexican Televisa exec
- 22.11.2017US calls Turkish gov’t accusations of plot in Zarrab case ‘ridiculous’
- 22.11.2017US sanctions Chinese, North Korean entities
- 22.11.2017Colombia protests Venezuelan military crossing border
- 21.11.2017UK welcomes Mugabe's resignation
- 21.11.2017Trump and Putin spoke by phone
- 21.11.2017US, Afghan forces launch anti-poppy operation
- 21.11.2017Missing Argentine submarine had reported electrical malfunction
- 20.11.2017US re-designates N Korea state sponsor of terrorism
- 19.11.2017Trump calls 'crooked' Hillary Clinton 'worst and biggest loser of all time'
- 18.11.20179 injured in large fire atop 6-story apartment building in New York
- 18.11.2017Argentine submarine goes missing for two days, major search op underway
- 18.11.2017Canada, Mexico try more flexibility as key NAFTA round opens
- 17.11.2017US official: If Turkey buys Russian systems, they can’t plug into NATO tech
- 17.11.2017Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab escapes knife attack in U.S. prison
- 17.11.2017Canadian senator dies on parliamentary trip in Colombia
- 17.11.2017South Dakota Keystone pipeline shut down after oil spill
- 17.11.2017UN Security Council rejects Russian draft on Syria chemical probe
- 17.11.2017The impeachment of President Donald Trump has officially begun
- 17.11.2017Fed's Williams calls for global rethink of monetary policy
- 17.11.2017US House passes tax reform bill, sends measure to Senate
- 16.11.2017Trump urges U.N. council to renew Syria chemical arms inquiry
- 16.11.2017More worries in Congress over cuts at U.S. State Department
- 16.11.2017US Democrats enter new articles to impeach Trump
- 15.11.2017Planned talks between Venezuelan opposition, government will not take place
- 15.11.2017U.S. security officials arrive in Israel to discuss Syria agreement
- 15.11.2017US FDA approves first 'digital pill'
- 15.11.2017Death toll as a result of a gunman in California fired at school reached - UPDATED
- 12.04.2017Russia vetoes U.N. resolution on Syria attack, China abstains
- 13.04.2017Trump, NATO chief hold joint news conference
- 13.04.2017Venezuela protests spread to poor areas, two more deaths amid unrest
- 12.04.2017A 5.1 magnitude quake kills at least one in El Salvador, caps off barrage of tremors
- 12.04.2017Pentagon Wants More F-35s for Less
- 11.04.2017UN confirms Syrian ceasefire and humanitarian task forces to meet on April 13