US Suspected Chlorine Attack; Turkey Preparing for U.S. Sanctions; NATO Discuss Future

PANAGYURISHTE (BGM)A suspected chlorine attack on Sunday by the Syrian government in northwest Syria is under investigation by the United States, Defense One reported.

Syrian Special Envoy Jim Jeffrey told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday that the United States so far could not confirm the specific chemical agent used.

“We at this point do not have any confirmation that chlorine, which was the substance that was suggested or alleged has been used — but again, we haven’t finished our review of that,” Jeffrey said.

On Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Moran Ortagus said that the United States “continues to see signs” that Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s government “may be renewing its use of chemical weapons, including an alleged chlorine attack in northwest Syria.” Ortagus said the Trump administration considers the use of such weapons unacceptable.

Turkey’s defence minister said it was preparing for potential U.S. sanctions over its purchase of Russian S-400 missile defence systems, even while he said there was some improvement in talks with the United States over buying F-35 fighter jets, Reuters reported.

Turkey and the United States have been at odds on several fronts including Ankara’s decision to buy the S-400s, which cannot be integrated into NATO systems. Washington says it would jeopardise Turkey’s role in building Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, which it says would be compromised by S-400s.

Ahead of the Meeting of Defence Ministers in June, the Chiefs of Defence came together to discuss NATO’s new Military Strategy, Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR)’s Area of Responsibility and the development of the Alliance’s deterrence and defence posture, NATO reported.

The Chiefs of Defence began their day by meeting with NATO’s Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, where discussions focused on the key strategic issues facing the Alliance.

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Source: Defense One, Reuters, NATO