17:21 GMT10 July 2020
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    Amid US President Donald Trump's twitterstorm on the situation in Syria, US Defense Secretary James Mattis keeps his tone calm, speaking about the alleged chemical attack in Douma.

    When asked about the evidence supporting accusations against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces for the alleged chemical attack, "Mad Dog" Mattis responded in a measured tone:

    "We're still assessing the intelligence - ourselves and our allies. We're still working on this," Mattis stated.

    However, he reiterated Trump's attitude to the issue, saying the Pentagon was ready "to provide military options if they are appropriate as the president determines," NBC News reported.

    READ MORE: Kremlin: Russia Is Not Part of Twitter Diplomacy, We Expect Serious Approach

    The defense secretary referred to Trump's April 9 statement on a "powerful" military response to the alleged chemical attack in Douma, blamed by Syrian opposition media outlets on the Syrian government despite a lack of credible evidence. The story was promptly picked up by the White Helmets, which were posting unverified footage of the aftermath of the alleged attack, with claims that up to 70 people had died of "widespread suffocation."

    Responding to the report, the United States and its allies rushed to put the blame for the attack on Damascus, explaining that a "history" of using such weapons by the Syrian authorities was "not in dispute."

    READ MORE: US Reportedly Mulls 'Powerful Strike' on Syria, 22 Targets Include Russian Sites

    While Bashar al-Assad's government has denied the allegations, arguing that the entire incident was staged, President Trump discussed the issue with his European counterparts, agreeing to work together to hold the perpetrators accountable.  

    alleged chemical attack, James Mattis, Donald Trump, Douma, Syria
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