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US: Syrian Regime Still Retains Ability to Launch Limited Chemical Attacks

US: Syrian Regime Still Retains Ability to Launch Limited Chemical Attacks

Thursday, 19 April, 2018 - 18:15
A man walks past damaged buildings in Syria's Douma. (Reuters)

The Pentagon said on Thursday that the Syrian regime still has the ability to carry out limited chemical attacks in the future.

“They do retain a residual capability. It is probably spread throughout the country at a variety of sites,” said Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie, joint staff director.

There were no signs however that the regime was preparing to carry out a new chemical attack, he added.

“They will have the ability to conduct limited attacks in the future, I would not rule that out. However, as they contemplate the dynamics of conducting those attacks, they have got to look over their shoulder and be worried that we’re looking at them and we’ll have the ability to strike them again, should it be necessary,” McKenzie said.

Last week, the United States, France and Britain carried out air strikes against regime chemical facilities in retaliation to an April 7 chemical attack in the town of Douma.

The attack left at least 40 people dead and sparked global outrage. Russia has been called on to rein in the regime and push it towards a political solution to the conflict.

On Thursday, head of the Higher Negotiations Committee Nasr al-Hariri stressed however that the regime was not interested in a political solution, “but was forging ahead with the military one.”

“The regime still possesses chemical weapons and will be able to carry out limited attacks in the future,” he said during a press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

“We call on the international community to act to stop the crimes of the Syrian regime,” he demanded.

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