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United States threatens 'swift & appropriate' response if Syria 'uses chemical weapons again'

United States threatens 'swift & appropriate' response if Syria 'uses chemical weapons again'”

According to an excerpt from the book by Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, the U.S. president told Defense Secretary James Mattis that he meant to assassinate the Syrian leader, after Washington accused the government in Damascus of a suspected chemical weapons attack against the militant-held village of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib a year ago.

The White House issued a statement Tuesday warning against "a reckless escalation of an already tragic conflict".

The White House on Tuesday warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if he uses chemical weapons against his people again, the United States and its allies "will respond swiftly and appropriately".

Syrian rebel fighters from the recently formed "National Liberation Front" reinforce a position along the front near the village of Abu Dali in the Idlib province countryside on September 1, 2018, in anticipation of an upcoming government forces offensive.

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"If they want to continue to go the route of taking over Syria, they can do that, but they cannot do it with chemical weapons", she said.

Russian Federation has been a key supporter of Assad and complained about militants in Idlib targeting its own facilities. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy". His appeal came after Russian warplanes resumed airstrikes on Idlib after a 22-day pause.

Tuesday's bombardment hit several areas held by the jihadist-led Hayat Tahrir al-Sham alliance, among them the town of Jisr al-Shughur, but also areas held by rival Turkish-backed rebels, according to Agence France-Presse.

The Syrian regime has recently announced plans to launch a major military offensive to the area, which is controlled by various armed opposition groups.

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On Wednesday, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Idlib was the "subject of increased concern and worry" and the focus of a flurry of diplomacy.

Cavusoglu said a common strategy was required to eliminate terrorist groups in Idlib but the continuation of attacks could be disastrous.

The U.S. has twice struck Syrian military installations in response to alleged poison gas attacks.

At the time, Trump said the targeted airfield had launched the chemical attack on a rebel-held area.

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Mattis reportedly told Trump he would get "right on it" in an apparent attempt to pacify the president, but hung up the phone and instead told a senior aide, "We're not going to do any of that".



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