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The Wall Street Journal: Mattis issues warning to Syria, Russia over use of chemical weapons

MUSCAT, Oman — Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called out the Syrian government and its key ally, Russia, over the issue of chemical-weapons use, saying it would be “very unwise” for the regime to deploy such weapons.

United Nations experts are investigating numerous reports of chlorine gas being used against civilians and rebel fighters, prompting concern at the White House and discussions about possible military options.

U.S. military officials have been unable to verify the reports, but Mattis said they appeared to be credible and warranted concern. “We have made it very clear that it would be very unwise to use gas against people, civilians, on any battlefield,” he said on a military jet heading for Oman on Sunday.

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