U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton threatened the Assad regime, once again, to avoid all use of chemical weapons in the upcoming offensive – vowing to respond much stronger ever before. Bolton stated that “With respect to the question of chemical weapons in Syria, you know, the response of the Trump administration when we had unmistakable proof — twice, once in April of 2017 and once in April of this year — was to use force against the Syrian regime. Because of the use of a weapon of mass destruction that the Trump administration found unacceptable. We’ve tried to convey the message in recent days that if there’s a third use of chemical weapons, the response will be much stronger. And I can say we’ve been in consultation with the British and the French who joined us in the second strike, and they also agree that another use of chemical weapons will result in a much stronger response,” he said in an address to the Federalist Society in Washington. When asked about claims by Russia and other allies of the Assad regime, in which Islamist organizations were staging chemical weapons attacks to draw an international response against Damascus; Ambassador Bolton referred to the allegations as one of the most outrageous claims in propaganda efforts in the 20th and 21st centuries. The U.S. National Security Adviser stressed that “The government of Russia and others have said that we are giving the authorization for al-Qaeda to use chemical weapons and try and pin it on the government of Syria. That has to be in the history of propaganda in the 20th and 21st centuries, one of the most outrageous claims that I can think of,” Bolton asserted.
Meanwhile in Geneva, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura met with senior officials from Turkey, Iran and Russia this morning for talks on the formation of Syria’s constitutional committee. The delegations include Iran’s special assistant to the foreign minister, Hossein Jaberi Ansari, the Russian president’s envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Vershinin and the deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey, Sedat Onal. Following today’s meeting with the representatives of Russia, Iran and Turkey; De Mistura is scheduled to meet senior representatives from the United States, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Germany, France and Egypt on the 14th of September, to continue the United Nation’s push for a new Syrian constitution.