General Jim Mattis, Secretary of Defense, declared that he did not have any proof that Syria had ever, at any time, used chemical weapons – neither in 2013 nor in 2017 when the White House ordered the bombing of the airbase at Shayrat as a reprisal measure for the chemical attack that the Syrian government had allegedly undertaken against the base at Khan Sheikhoun.

However, only two weeks before this declaration, that is on 23 January, the US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, participated at an International Conference in Paris “against impunity when chemical weapons are used”, accusing President al-Assad of having repeatedly used this type of weapon.

Mattis Admits There Was No Evidence Assad Used Poison Gas on His People”, Ian Wilkie, Newsweek, February 8, 2018.

Anoosha Boralessa