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
- 23.05.2017Wall Street closes higher with rise in oil prices
- 21.05.2017At least 46 wounded in Saturday anti-government protests in Venezuela
- 21.05.2017Congressman threatened with lynching after calling for Trump’s impeachment
- 21.05.20178 injured in plane-truck collision at LA airport
- 21.05.2017U.S. calls on Iran to halt support for 'destabilizing forces'
- 21.05.2017Brazil president lambastes bribe testimony by JBS executives
- 20.05.2017Tillerson unaware of White House 'person of interest' in Russia probe
- 20.05.2017US hopes re-elected Iranian President Rouhani to stop missile program
- 20.05.2017Approval of President Trump drops to lowest since inauguration
- 20.05.2017‘Trust’ Us: Tillerson urges North Korea to back off nuke program
- 20.05.2017U.N. sees 'incremental progress' after Syria talks
- 20.05.2017White House adviser is person of interest in Russia probe: report
- 19.05.2017Mattis: Militia hit by US strike in Syria Iran-directed offensive force
- 19.05.2017US imposes sanctions on Venezuela Supreme Court
- 19.05.2017US sends second aircraft carrier to Korea after DPRK’s missile test
- 19.05.2017Democrats predict a Trump sellout on NAFTA
- 19.05.2017Fox News founder dies at 77
- 19.05.2017U.S. executives tell Congress they want permanent tax reform
- 19.05.2017Trump: "I never asked Comey to close Flynn probe"
- 18.05.2017Trump calls special counsel Russia probe 'greatest witch hunt' in U.S. history
- 18.05.2017Brazilian Supreme Court Authorizes opening of investigation against President
- 18.05.2017One person dead, at least 13 injured after car hits pedestrians in the U.S. - VIDEO - UPDATED
- 18.05.2017Private jet crash kills 2 in central Mexico
- 18.05.2017Anti-government protests claim another life in Venezuela
- 18.05.2017US: Special counsel appointed to FBI's Russia probe
- 18.05.2017Trump calls Netanyahu amid intelligence sharing controversy
- 18.05.2017U.S. extends sanctions relief under Iran nuclear deal
- 17.05.2017Venezuelan government prolongs economic emergency for seventh time
- 17.05.2017One killed, 25 injured in Tornado in US State of Wisconsin
- 17.05.2017White House won't release list of persons present during Trump-Lavrov talks
- 17.05.2017White House fence jumper arrested
- 16.05.2017Mexico expects NAFTA talks by late August: economy minister
- 16.05.2017US Treasury adds more anti-Syria sanctions: 2 Assad's cousins on the list
- 16.05.2017Trump: "US backs Turkey in the fight against terrorist groups like ISIS and the PKK" - UPDATED
- 16.05.2017Trump revealed intelligence secrets to Russians in Oval Office: officials
- 16.05.2017Another journalist killed as Mexico struggles to contain violence
- 16.05.2017Small plane crashes at Teterboro airport in New Jersey
- 16.05.2017Washington calls on Russia, China to do everything possible on North Korea sanctions
- 16.05.2017Cyber attack's spread slows; security stocks gain
- 14.05.2017Trump pledges to move quickly to name new FBI director
- 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