BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:45 A.M.) – The U.S. State Department has threatened to take action if the claims by the jihadist group Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham are true about the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) allegedly using chemical weapons in the militant stronghold of Kabani.
“We are still gathering information on this incident, but we repeat our warning that if the Assad regime uses chemical weapons, the United States and our allies will respond quickly and appropriately,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
She also denounced Russia, the key ally of Damascus, for what she called a “disinformation campaign” as it tries to blame other parties for chemical attacks.
“The Assad regime’s culpability in horrific chemical weapons attacks is undeniable,” Ortagus said.
“The regime’s attacks against the communities of northwest Syria must end,” she said.
“The United States reiterates its warning, first issued by President (Donald) Trump in September 2018, that an attack against the Idlib de-escalation zone would be a reckless escalation that threatens to destabilize the region,” she said.
What Ortagus, who previously mocked the plight of Syrians suffering from the U.S. blockade of oil to Syria, left out is that these claims came from Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham and their allies from the foreign jihadist group, the Turkestan Islamic Party (TIP).
The Syrian Foreign Ministry denied these claims, as did the Syrian Arab Army, who later stormed the town at the same time of these allegations.
It may prove difficult for OPCW inspectors to investigate these allegations as HTS and TIP are notorious for kidnapping people and activists in northwestern Syria.