Pompeo says Syria government used chlorine in May chemical weapon attack

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(SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"Today I am announcing that the United States has concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine as a chemical weapon on May 19."

On the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the U.N. Thursday that Syria violated an international accord banning the use of chemical weapons.

That's according to a new U.S. intelligence assessment that found Syrian president Bashir al-Assad's forces used chlorine gas during a battle with insurgents in Idlib during

As peace talks stalled to end Syria's brutal civil war, Assad launched an offensive in the region in May, saying insurgents had broken a truce.

The new U.S. report found that at least four people were wounded in the chlorine rocket strike during that offensive.

The Syrian government has denied the attack.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SECRETARY OF STATE MIKE POMPEO, SAYING:

"The United States will not allow these attacks to go unchallenged. Nor will we tolerate those who chose to conceal these atrocities."

Pompeo declined to say what the U.S. response could be.

But the Trump administration has bombed Syria twice over Assad's suspected use of chemical weapons, first in April 2017 and then a year later in April 2018.


Assad's government joined the chemical weapons convention in 2013, following global pressure, after Syrian forces used sarin gas in an attack near the capital of Damascus that killed some 1,400 people.