Pentagon Does Not Have Evidence of Chlorine, Sarin Use in Syria’s Douma – Mattis

Thursday, April 12, 2018
By Paul Martin

SputnikNews.com
12.04.2018

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has told lawmakers that the US military is still “assessing the intelligence” on the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian town of Douma, and that President Trump has yet to decide whether to launch strikes against the Middle Eastern country.

“There have been a number of these attacks. In many cases, you know we don’t have troops, we’re not engaged on the ground there, so I cannot tell you that we had evidence, even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used,” Mattis said, speaking to members of the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

The defense secretary said he did believe that a chemical attack took place, but that the US was still “looking for the actual evidence.”

“We’re still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies. We’re still working on this,” he reiterated.

Warning that he was concerned that a US strike might lead to an “out of control” escalation in the Syrian war, Mattis said that Washington was “committed to ending that war through the Geneva process through the UN-orchestrated effort.”

“On a strategic level, [the issue is] how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that,” he said, alluding to the prospects of a confrontation between Russian and US forces deployed in the Middle Eastern country.

No Decision Yet

According to Secretary Mattis, President Trump has yet to decide whether or not to launch an attack. “We’ve not yet made any decision to launch military attacks into Syria,” he said.

“I don’t want to talk about a specific attack that is not yet in the offing, knowing that this would be pre-decisional. Again, the president has not made that decision,” he added.

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