Despite Syria's promise to give up their stockpiles of deadly chemical weapons, the US suspects President Bashar Assad may again use sarin nerve gas on his own people.
During a press briefing with reporters on Friday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis dropped a strong hint that the US will be launching another military strike if his intel proves so.
The Goldwater reported in April of last year, just as Chinese President Xi Jinping was visiting the US, President Trump ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian airfield after it was confirmed that the deadly nerve gas had indeed been used against civilians in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun.
Secretary Mattis: “We’re on the record and you all have seen how we reacted to that, so they would be ill-advised to go back to violating the chemical convention.”
“We are even more concerned about the possibility of sarin use, the likelihood of sarin use, and we are looking for the evidence.”
“I don’t have the evidence. What I’m saying is groups on the ground, NGOs, fighters on the ground said that sarin has been used. So we are looking for evidence. I don’t have evidence.”
Asked about the Turkish invasion of the northern Syrian province of Afrin, Mr Mattis claimed that such was “a distraction” from the fight against ISIS in Syria, which is what he believes both Turkey and the US should be focusing one.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">US and Turkey have talked about YPG-controlled Manbij region in Syria, but they are not going to share details publicly, says US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis <a href="https://t.co/GnLqlDc8fH">pic.twitter.com/GnLqlDc8fH</a></p>— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) <a href="https://twitter.com/TRTWorldNow/status/959451194237313024?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 2, 2018</a></blockquote>
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Whilst the Pentagon chief admitted that Turkey has “legitimate security interests” in keeping the Kurdish PKK terrorist group in check, the Kurdish-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces, which the US is backing, is the “one group that’s proven capable of helping fight ISIS in Syria.”