White House says Syria may be preparing chemical attack

Frederick Owens
June 27, 2017

The White House statement 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 children".

The U.S. -backed Syrian Democratic Forces pushed the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) deeper into Raqqa city Monday as they advanced against the group on two fronts, the United Kingdom -based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported.

Dozens died in that attack and prompted President Donald Trump to order a strike against a Syrian air base. Assad's government and his allies deny the allegation.

NEW: White House says USA has "identified potential preparations" for chemical attack by the Assad regime in Syria.

Trump ordered the strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria in April in reaction to what Washington said was a poison gas attack by Assad's regime that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory.

"As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria [ISIS]".

The late night report was extremely light on details, but threatened to make Syria's government and military "pay a heavy price", suggesting that the statement was only issued to lay the groundwork for a new round of USA attacks on Syrian government targets. "We consider it unacceptable".

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A non-governmental source with close ties to the White House said the administration had received intelligence that the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack in either the east or south of the country, where government troops and allied forces have faced recent setbacks. As we reported, the missiles targeted aircraft and aircraft shelters, ammunition, air defense systems and radars.

Russian Federation and Syria also carry out airstrikes in Deir el-Zour, and it was not clear how the activists identified the aircraft responsible.

Syria's war began in March 2011 with anti-government protests that spiralled into a complex and devastating conflict that has killed more than 320,000 people.

The two groups said the US -led coalition was behind the strike.

The strike was the first direct military action taken by the USA against the regime of Assad in the country's six-year civil war. The attack prompted widespread criticism from the worldwide community. Syria blamed terrorist groups for the attack.

File image of Bashar al-Assad.

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