The Trump administration has said it discovered evidence that Syrian President Bashar Assad could be planning another chemical weapons attack, according to Fox reports.
In a statement, Press Secretary Sean Spicer said “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 added that the activities identified were similar to the preparations for the April chemical weapons attack that Syria blamed on Damascus. Spicer concluded the statement saying: “As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) June 27, 2017
The White did not consult the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies before issuing the declaration and according to Associated Press, state department officials said they were caught completely off guard by the warning which had not been discussed with other national security agencies.
Fox reports that a source with close ties to the White House said they had received intelligence that the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack in either the east of south of the country. Nikki Haley U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations said that “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.”
President Assad denied responsibility for the April chemical attack on the town of Khan Sheikhoun in the Idlib province that killed dozens of people, including children.