In his Tuesday briefing the White House press secretary Sean Spicer slammed the president of Syria for committing acts he characterised as worse than 'Hitler's'.

Addressing questions regarding the US tomahawk missile strike on a Syrian Air Force base which took place on Friday, Spicer said it was in reaction to the alleged use of chemical weapons by the regime of president Bashar al-Assad.

Drawing a historical comparison, Spicer remarked that:

We didn't use chemical weapons in World War Two. You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn't even sink to using chemical weapons.

Which of course, the Nazi regime infamously did use chemicals in gas chambers when they carried out the Holocaust against millions of innocent people.

Spicer clarified later in the briefing that he of course acknowledged that Hitler's regime did use chemical weapons in the Holocaust, and that he was referring to Assad's use of sarin gas on civilian settlements and towns.

Spicer also subsequently apologised for what he describes as an 'inappropriate' and 'offensive' reference.

Picture:Picture: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Enemies, foreign and domestic

Tear gas is a chemical weapon, and is commonly used by American law enforcement.

In August 2014 the Washington Post made the point that tear gas, traditionally used in war, was fired at protestors in Ferguson.

Another type of tear gas was used by police in Phoenix, Arizona in July 2016 and against protestors demonstrating at the Dakota-Access pipeline in November 2016.

The Chemical Weapons Convention 1993, of which the US is a signatory, bans the use of tear gas in warfare.

Yet something considered too cruel and unusual for the battlefield is considered appropriate for the streets, and has been used multiple times in recent years on crowds in America.

Picture:Picture: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Recent uses of tear gas on crowds in the USA

HT Civic Media, Washington Post

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