The Trump administration mentioned on Monday that it had discovered evidence that Syria may be planning another chemical weapons attack
Sean Spicer, Press Secretary, said in an official statement that “The United States has identified potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”
He also added that the discovered activities were very similar to the preparations for the April chemical weapons attack that was blamed on Damascus.
“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria,” Spicer concluded. “If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”
The White House did not bring any further details so far on what prompted the warning. Several officials of the State Department told the Associated Press that they found themselves caught completely off guard by the warning, making it look as if it was not discussed in advance with other national security agencies.
Usually, the Pentagon, the State Department and the U.S. Intelligence agencies would all be consulted before making such a declaration.
On the other hand, a non-governmental source that has close relations with the White House said that the administration received signs that the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack. The attack is believed to possibly take place in the south east of the country, where the troops have faced recent setbacks .
In a tweet, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said: “any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Asaad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people.”