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    A Civil Defence member carries a damaged canister in Ibleen village from what activists said was a chlorine gas attack, on Kansafra, Ibleen and Josef villages, Idlib countryside May 3, 2015

    US to Work With Russia to Address Syria’s Alleged Chlorine Weapons Use

    © REUTERS / Abed Kontar
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    The United States will work with Russia to pressure Syria to stop using chlorine weapons if reports that Syrian government forces have been utilizing gas bombs are substantiated, White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said in a briefing on Friday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) —  On Thursday, President Obama said that the United States was prepared to take military action in the past to prevent Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from using chemical weapons.

    “If those reports are confirmed, he [US President Barack Obama] is going to work with the international community, specifically Russia, in order to apply pressure to make sure that never happens again.”

    Syria has been mired in civil war since 2011, with the country's government fighting against several opposition and militant groups, including the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State.

    After a Sarin gas attack near Damascus that killed more than 1000 people in 2013, Syria joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and agreed to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal.

    At present, the United States is working to investigate the allegations that the Syrian government did not comply with the chemical weapons ban agreement.

    Obama said chlorine historically has not been listed as a chemical weapon, but the way it has been reportedly used in Syria, may have an effect of a chemical weapon.

    At the end of October 2014, the OPCW reported that nearly 98 percent of chemical weapons removed from Syria had been destroyed.


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    chlorine gas, chemical weapons, Syria, United States, Russia
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