Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, said on Thursday that the United States had concluded the Syrian government had used chlorine as a chemical weapon in an attack in May during a battle with insurgents in Idlib.
“The Assad regime is responsible for innumerable atrocities, some of which rise to the level of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” Mr Pompeo told a news conference in New York, where he has been attending the United Nations General Assembly.
“Today I am announcing that the United States has concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine as a chemical weapon on May 19,” Mr Pompeo added.
The United States said in May it had received numerous reports that appeared consistent with chemical exposure after an attack by the forces of Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, in northwestern Syria, but it had made no definitive conclusion as to whether they used chemical weapons.
The Trump administration has twice bombed Syria over Assad’s suspected use of chemical weapons, in April 2017 and April 2018.