BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:00 P.M.) – U.S. security official John Bolton stated on Saturday that if the Syrian government uses chemical weapons after the American troop withdrawal, they will face severe consequences.
“There is absolutely no change in the US position against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and absolutely no change in our position that any use of chemical weapons would be met by a very strong response, as we’ve done twice before,” Bolton said, according to the Reuters news agency.
“So the regime, the Assad regime, should be under no illusions on that question.”
He continued that the U.S. troop withdrawal should not encourage the Syrian government to use these types of weapons.
“As we elaborate how the withdrawal is going to occur and the circumstances, we don’t want the Assad regime to see what we do as representing any diminution in our opposition to the use of weapons of mass destruction,”he said.
If chemical weapons were to be used, “a lot of options would be on the table … if they don’t heed the lessons of those two strikes the next one will be more telling,” Bolton said.