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Syria denies U.S. claims it used chemical weapons against rebel-held areas

A man is seen near the remains of a rocket in Douma, Eastern Ghouta in Damascus, Syria January 22, 2018. REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

(reuters_tickers)

AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian foreign ministry denied on Saturday U.S. allegations it had used chemical weapons against rebel-held Eastern Ghouta enclave near Damascus, saying the accusations were "lies" without evidence.

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday the Syrian government had repeatedly used chlorine as a weapon. A day earlier, Washington said it was prepared to consider military action if necessary to deter chemical weapons attacks by the Syrian government.

(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Peter Graff)

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