Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech before the United Nations General Assembly yesterday that the United States has confirmed that Syrian government used chlorine gas in an attack on its own citizens in May of this year. In his speech before the U.N. Pompeo said:

I’m announcing that the United States has concluded that the Assad regime used chlorine as a chemical weapon on May 19th in an attack at Latakia province, Syria. This attack was part of the Assad regime’s ongoing violent campaign in Idlib, which has killed more than 1,000 innocent Syrians and displaced hundreds of thousands more.

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He continued that the Assad regime is “truly barbaric” and has “used chemical weapons every year since Syria’s accession to the Chemical Weapons Convention in 2013.” Syria has been battling a civil war since March of 2011 when rebel forces inside the country attempted to overthrow dictator Bashar al-Assad.

Despite the upheaval, Assad has remained in power and “in his efforts to quash the rebellion, Assad has repeatedly used chemical weapons against his own civilians.” To put the horror into context, “according to a March 2018 report by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, at that point in the war 511,000 Syrian people had been killed- 85 percent of which were civilians killed by Assad’s regime.”