Washington (Times Of Ocean)- U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Tuesday that the United States has “credible information” that Russia may use chemical agents in its offensive to take the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
He said he could not confirm recent allegations that Moscow used chemical weapons in Mariupol, a strategic port on the Sea of Azov.
But Blinken continued: “We had credible information that Russian forces may use a variety of riot control agents, including tear gas mixed with chemical agents that would cause stronger symptoms to weaken and incapacitate entrenched Ukrainian fighters and civilians, as part of the aggressive campaign to take Mariupol.”
“We share that information with Ukraine,” the U.S. Secretary told reporters.
“We’re in direct conversation with partners to try to determine what actually has happened. So this is a real concern,” Blinken stated.
According to Ukraine’s Azov battalion, a Russian drone had dropped a “poisonous substance” on troops and civilians in Mariupol.
The force asserted that many people were experiencing respiratory failure and neurological disorders.
In a video posted on Telegram, battalion leader Andrei Biletsky said three people have clear signs of poisoning by warfare chemicals, but without catastrophic consequences.
He accused the Kremlin of using chemical weapons during airstrike on the city’s central Azovstal metallurgical plant.
There has been no verification of the claims, which were shared by Ukrainian lawmakers and the U.S. was also unable to verify reports of chemical weapons being used.
Britain’s armed forces minister James Heappey also said “all options are on the table” if Russian chemical weapons were found in Ukraine.
Heappey’s comments came as unverified reports on social media claimed that Russia might have used chemical weapons in the besieged port city of Mariupol.