Executive Intelligence Review


General Mattis Tells Congress, U.S. Still Looking for Evidence of Douma Chemical Attack

April 12, 2018 (EIRNS)—Reflecting the intense fight ongoing over U.S. policy towards Syria following the British-instigated “chemical weapons attack” provocation there, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told a House Armed Forces Committee hearing this morning that the U.S. does not have evidence yet on supposed chemical weapons attack in Douma, Syria.

“I believe there was a chemical attack, and we are looking for the actual evidence,” General Mattis told the Congressmen. “We’re still assessing the intelligence, ourselves and our allies. We’re still working on this.”

He elaborated that “there have been a number of these attacks. In many cases, you know, we don’t have troops, we’re not engaged on the ground there, so I cannot tell you that we had evidence, even though we had a lot of media and social media indicators that either chlorine or sarin were used.”

Mattis also said a military strike against Syria “is not yet in the offing.” He reported that the National Security Council would be meeting in the afternoon to give the President options for action. In his view, the U.S. role is to defeat ISIS, not to engage in the civil war itself, and the U.S. remains “committed to ending that war through the Geneva process through the UN-orchestrated effort.”

While he charged Moscow with complicity in Syria’s alleged retention of a chemical weapons stockpile, Mattis cautioned that “on a strategic level, [the issue is] how do we keep this from escalating out of control, if you get my drift on that.”