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US Defense Secretary to the Syrian Government

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Defense Secretary James Mattis addressed a statement to the Syrian government on Monday, saying it would be "ill-advised ever again to use chemical weapons," the Washington Free Beacon reports.

"The U.S. military strike against Shayrat airfield on April 6 was a measured response to the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons," Mattis said.

"The president directed this action to deter future use of chemical weapons and to show the United States will not passively stand by while Assad murders innocent people with chemical weapons, which are prohibited by international law and which were declared destroyed."

"The assessment of the Department of Defense is that the strike resulted in the damage or destruction of fuel and ammunition sites, air defense capabilities, and 20 percent of Syria's operational aircraft," the statement said. "The Syrian government has lost the ability to refuel or rearm aircraft at Shayrat airfield and at this point, use of the runway is of idle military interest."

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