Saturday February 3, 2018
"I don’t have the evidence,” Mattis said. “What I am saying is that other groups on the ground - NGOs, fighters on the ground - have said that sarin has been used, so we are looking for evidence.”
This week the American public was once again bombarded by fresh headlines alleging the Syrian government under President Bashar al-Assad gassed its own people. And in predictable fashion the usual threat of US military force soon followed.
Except of course rather than "alleging" a chemical incident, all the usual suspects from CNN pundits to State Department bureaucrats to Pentagon officials in typical fashion are opting for the simpler "Assad did it" narrative. State Department spokesperson Heather Nauertstated Thursday, "Russia is making the wrong choice by not exercising its unique influence. To allow the Syria regime to use chemical weapons against its own people is unconscionable. We will pursue accountability."
Nauert's statement was a repeat of talking points from last week's chemical attack claims, wherein both she and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ultimately blamed Russia. But like with other recent chemical attack allegations, the claims couldn't be more vague or poorly sourced, yet was still enough for U.S. officials to issue more direct threats of US military action against Assad.