The US withdrawal from Syria does not mean that the United States will relax its vigilance against the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime, warned Saturday the US Councilor for National Security John Bolton.
“There is absolutely no change in the United States’ position on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and absolutely no change in our position to respond with the utmost firmness to any use of weapons. what we have done twice, “Bolton told reporters aboard the plane taking him to Tel Aviv, Israel.
“The Assad regime should have no illusions about this,” added Donald Trump’s adviser.
John Bolton is in Israel and will travel to Turkey to discuss the withdrawal of 2,000 US troops present in Syria announced on December 19 by Donald Trump.
The decision of the American president has taken short number of partners and allies of the United States. It prompted the resignation of Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and the US special envoy to the coalition against ISIS Brett McGurk.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to travel from January 8 to 15 in the Middle East to discuss the withdrawal from Syria, for which no timetable has yet been announced.
“At the moment when we are developing the modalities of this withdrawal, we do not want the regime (of Syrian President Bashar al) Assad to think that this represents a step back in our opposition to the use of chemical weapons” said John Bolton on Saturday.
The United States bombed targets in Syria twice, in April 2017 and April 2018, in retaliation for chemical attacks on the Bashar al-Assad regime.
In September, US officials said they had acquired evidence that the Syrian government was preparing chemical weapons before an offensive on the rebel enclave of Idlib in the north-west of the country.
John Bolton did not reiterate these accusations but warned that if Damascus came again to use chemical weapons, “many options would be studied”.
“If they have not learned the lessons from the previous two strikes, the next will be more meaningful,” said the US National Security Advisor.