The United States sees signs the Assad regime may be using chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in rural Lattakia in northwest Syria on Sunday, the State Department said on Tuesday, warning that Washington and its allies would respond “quickly and appropriately” if this were proven.
Syrian activists published videos showing what they said was shelling by the Assad regime on the town of Kabina in the northern Lattakia with shells loaded with chlorine gas.
“Unfortunately, we continue to see signs that the Assad regime may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria on the morning of May 19,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
“We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately,” she said.
Local activists said the chlorine gas attack coincided with desperate attempts by the Assad regime forces to storm the area, adding that the shelling continued until late at night.
The International Commission of Inquiry on Syria earlier confirmed Assad’s responsibility for the vast majority of chemical attacks in the country. However, Russia repeatedly used its veto power to blocked the UN Security Council from taking any decision to condemn the Assad regime. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)