7,345. 4/21/2017

CABINET/DEFENSE/FOREIGN POLICY/SYRIA/TRUMP PEOPLE/JAMES MATTIS: “U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday there was ‘no doubt’ that the Syrian government has chemical weapons, following a U.S. strike earlier this month on a Syrian air base that targeted a stockpile believed to have been used on a rebel-held town.
‘The bottom line is there can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it had removed them all,’ said Mr. Mattis, referring to the international deal reached in 2013 between the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and world powers.
Speaking in a joint press conference in Tel Aviv with his Israeli counterpart, Avigdor Lieberman, Mr. Mattis declined to say how much of its chemical weapons stash the regime kept despite the agreement.
‘We don’t reveal some of that detail because we don’t want to reveal how we are finding out,’ he said, ‘but the bottom line is that we can say authoritatively that they have retained some. It is a violation of the United Nations Security Council resolutions and it can be taken up diplomatically.’ “

-Gordon Lubold and Rory Jones, “U.S. Defense Chief Mattis: ‘No Doubt’ Syrian Regime Has Chemical Weapons,” The Wall Street Journal online, April 21, 2017 5:46am

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