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Syria has used chemical weapons 50 times, claims US

The United States claimed on Friday that the Syrian government has launched at least 50 chemical weapons attacks since violence broke out in the region 7 years ago, as tensions with Russia sharply increased.

The claim comes after an attack in Douma earlier this month which killed dozens of people. The US, UK and France  have all blamed the Syrian regime, led by president Bashar al-Assad.

“Let’s be clear: Assad’s most recent use of poison gas against the people of Douma was not his first, second, third, or even 49th use of chemical weapons,” US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley told the UN Security Council.

“The United States estimates that Assad has used chemical weapons in the Syrian war at least 50 times. Public estimates are as high as 200.”

The use of chemical weapons in Syria is “a violation of all standards of morality,” she added.

Ms Haley repeatedly clashed with the Russian ambassador Vasily Nebenzya at the Security Council, who claimed the US had adopted “a categorical policy to unleash military force against Syria”. US President Donald Trump’s threats of a military strike were “unworthy of a permanent member of the Security Council,” he added

 “I’m in awe of how you say what you say with a straight face,” Ms Haley responded.

See more from the New York Times here.