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Mattis: 'I believe there was a chemical attack in Syria'

WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Congress on Thursday he believed there was a chemical attack in Syria and that the United States wanted inspectors on the ground to collect evidence, warning that job became more difficult as time passes.
"I believe there was a chemical attack and we are looking for the actual evidence," Mattis told a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee, warning one of his top concerns about any US military strike was preventing an "out-of-control" escalation in that country's war, in which Russia, Iran, Turkey and others have taken sides.
Mattis also accused Russia of being complicit in Syria's retention of chemical weapons, despite a 2013 deal requiring Syria to abandon them that Moscow helped broker.
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