Assad has denied being behind a chemical attack on his own people earlier this month, insisting in an interview that Syria doesn't have chemical weapons. But Mattis says there's no question he does.
“There can be no doubt in the international community’s mind that Syria has retained chemical weapons in violation of its agreement and its statement that it has removed them all,” Mattis said Friday in Israel, according to The Associated Press.
President Trump launched a missile strike against the Syrian air base where officials say Assad staged the chemical attack that killed more than 90 civilians.
Speaking alongside Mattis, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel has “100 percent information that [the] Assad regime used chemical weapons against rebels.”
Senior Israeli defense officials said Wednesday that Assad’s military is believed to have as much as three tons of chemical weapons despite a 2013 agreement ordering the country to dispose of its stockpiles.