Washington : US defence chief Jim Mattis on Wednesday said there is “no doubt” that the Syrian government was behind the deadly chemical strike in Syria, warning the embattled regime that it will pay a “very very stiff price” if it continues to use chemical weapons against its own people.
“If they use chemical weapons, they are going to pay a very, very stiff price,” Mattis told reporters during his first Pentagon briefing as defence chief. Notwithstanding the Russian allegations that the US is selling a false narrative over the use of chemical weapons by the authoritarian Syrian regime, Mattis defended the American missile attacks against Syria last week. “Last Tuesday on the 4th of April, the Syrian regime attacked its own people using chemical weapons. I have personally reviewed the intelligence, and there is no doubt the Syrian regime is responsible for the decision to attack and for the attack itself,” the Defence Secretary said.
“In response to the attack, our government began a deliberate process, led by the National Security Council, to recommend diplomatic and military options to the president. We met over several days and I spoke with some of our allies,” he added. Mattis said the National Security Council considered the near-century-old international prohibition against the use of chemical weapons, the Syrian regime’s repeated violations of that international law, and the inexplicably ruthless murders the regime had committed.