The US has consistently put the blame on the Syrian government or Russia, but failed to provide credible evidence on every occasion.
Last week, the Pentagon acknowledged that it is unable to confirm if nerve agents such as sarin were used by Damascus. “We do not have evidence of it,” US Defense Secretary James Mattis told journalists Saturday.
He said the only information the US has been able to obtain so far about the alleged sarin use came from “other groups on the ground, NGOs, fighters on the ground” and simply “people who claim it’s been used.”
Chemical weapons have been used by the US to justify direct military action against Syria. In 2017, President Donald Trump ordered a cruise missile strike on the Syrian airbase in Shayrat following an alleged chemical weapons attack on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, where up to 100 people were reportedly killed.
The UN and Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) then presented several reports on their findings concerning the use of chemical weapons in Syria, including the April attack. Russia repeatedly criticized the reports, saying they were full of discrepancies, cherry-picked facts, and based on statements from sources whose authenticity was questionable.