The US-led coalition has issued a statement today denying that they carried out an accused airstrike against a poison gas depot in the ISIS-held Deir Ezzor Province of Eastern Syria, a strike which the Syrian Army claimed has caused the deaths of hundreds of people.
ISIS is known to have a chemical weapons arsenal, and has deployed it repeatedly in both Iraq and Syria, which makes the report at least possible. On the other hand, there has been no confirmation of the incident from anyone outside of the Syrian government, which may mean it was just a retaliatory allegation after the US accused them of a chemical weapons attack last week.
Russian officials say they have no information to suggest that such an incident took place, but did confirm that they have dispatched drones to the area to check out the claims. It would be unlikely that such a large incident would go totally unreported outside of Syrian state media.
The presence of unsecured chemical weapons in the hands of factions that are being regularly and repeatedly targeted by various air forces, however, is a very real threat in both Syria and Iraq, as with the continued strikes raining down on ISIS territory, such an incident may be only a matter of time.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Turkish Warplanes Pound Kurds, Thousands of Syrian Rebels Bused to Border - January 20th, 2018
- US Military's 'Prime Focus' Will Be Competing With Russia, China - January 19th, 2018
- NGO: US-Led Coalition Civilian Killings Tripled in Iraq and Syria in 2017 - January 19th, 2018
- Russia FM: US Creating 'Alternative Bodies of Authority' in Syria - January 19th, 2018
- US: Turkish Attack on Syrian Kurds 'Destabilizing' - January 19th, 2018