Tillerson blames Russia after reports emerge of Syrian regime using chemical weapons

  • US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that the Syrian regime may still be using chemical weapons.
  • Reports emerged that 20 people were victims of an apparent chlorine gas attack on Monday.
  • The White Helmets, a Syrian rescue group, have also accused the Syrian regime of using chlorine gas in at least twice in the last 10 days.

The Syrian government may still be using chemical weapons after a suspected chlorine attack in the rebel enclave of eastern Ghouta, the United States said on Tuesday, adding that Russia ultimately bore responsibility.

“Only yesterday more than 20 civilians, mostly children, were victims of an apparent chlorine gas attack,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said after a conference on chemical weapons in Paris. “The recent attacks in East Ghouta raise serious concerns that Bashar al-Assad may be continuing to use chemical weapons against hiss own people.”

The White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer rescue group, posted on Twitter on Monday two videos of the children and adults appearing to be suffering from chlorine gas poisoning near Douma.

The White Helmets also accused the Syrian regime on Jan. 13 of firing three surface-to-surface missiles filled with poisonous gas on between the cities of Harasta and Douma.

Five women and one child were injured from the strikes, the White Helmets said, and a medical center in Douma confirmed it treated six people with symptoms similar to chlorine gas poisoning.

Tillerson said that whoever conducted the attacks, “Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in eastern Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria”.

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