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U.S. Warns Syria over Chemical Weapon Use as Leaked OPCW Report Suggests Douma Attack Was Staged

HeadlineMay 22, 2019

In news from Syria, the State Department said Tuesday that the Syrian government may have used chemical weapons during recent fighting in Idlib. The State Department warned that the the United States and its allies would respond quickly and appropriately if it is determined that chemical weapons have been used.

This all comes as new questions are being raised about an alleged chemical weapons attack in the city of Douma last year. The Syrian government was accused of dropping two gas cylinders on the city, killing dozens of people. The U.S. and allies responded by carrying out airstrikes. But a newly leaked internal document from the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reveals there were conflicting views within the organization as to what happened. The leaked document suggests the cylinders were “manually placed” on the ground and were not dropped from the air. This has led some observers to conclude that the chemical attack might have been staged by Syrian rebels. MIT professor Theodore Postol responded to the leaked document by stating, “As such, 35 deaths that were originally attributed to these staged chlorine events cannot be explained and it cannot be ruled out that these people were murdered as part of the staging effort.”

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