US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, speaking to reporters aboard a military jet earlier this year, says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been warned against using chemical weapons Photo: AFP/File
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Assad 'has been warned' on Idlib chemical use: Mattis

4 Comments
By Thomas WATKINS

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis stressed Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been well warned against any chemical weapons use in an anticipated assault on Idlib province.

The Assad regime has twice been targeted by U.S. air and missile strikes after previous alleged chemical attacks, and U.S. officials have in recent days said additional action would follow if Assad were to use the banned weapons in rebel-held Idlib.

"In Idlib, we're watching very closely what the Assad regime, aided and abetted by the Iranians and the Russians are up to there," Mattis told Pentagon reporters.

Pointing to a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base in April 2017 after Assad's jets launched an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, Mattis noted that the Syrian leader suffered massive losses to his air force.

"The first time around, he lost 17 percent of his pointy-nosed air force airplanes," Mattis said, referring to the unusual nose cones on Russian-built jets.

"He's been warned, and so we'll see if he's wised up," he added.

A second strike, in April this year, saw British and French militaries assist the U.S.-led mission.

Idlib province and adjacent rural areas form the largest piece of territory still held by Syria's beleaguered rebels, worn down by a succession of government victories in recent months.

Assad has now set his sights on Idlib, and his forces have stepped up bombardment of the densely populated province since the beginning of the month.

© 2018 AFP

©2018 GPlusMedia Inc.

4 Comments
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This isn’t a warning for Assad, it’s a hint for the rebels.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@burningbush This isn’t a warning for Assad, it’s a hint for the rebels.

Thanks for the heads up, for letting readers know how RT and other outlets in the Putin global media plus others in the alt right media will be spinning Syria/Russia's latest use of chemical weapons.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Thanks for the heads up, for letting readers know how RT and other outlets in the Putin global media plus others

And thank you for another vivid demonstration how the NATO propaganda machine works! The same pattern: terrorebels face an imminent defeat - Assad "uses chemical weapons" without any practical necessity and on cameras of the White helmets jihadists' media team - hysteria in Western media - NATO comes to the jihadists' rescue - the war drags on. This time Mattis on the stage. It demonstrates how desperately NATO wants to save its clientele.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There is substantial evidence terriorists and their white helmet colleagues are about to do a false flag attack. Syria is between Israel and Iraq. Killing Syrians is important for Israel to stop Iran.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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