White House: Assad May Be Preparing Chemical Attack

Bruno Cirelli
Giugno 28, 2017

The Kremlin on Tuesday dismissed the White House's warning that the Syrian government is preparing a new chemical attack and that President Bashar Assad and his military "will pay a heavy price" if it goes ahead, while the Syrian leader visited the Russian military base in Syria and met with Russia's chief military officer.

After the April attack, Trump accused Assad's government of going "beyond a red line" and approved what USA officials called a "one-off" strike to deter future chemical attacks.

The United States and other world powers have accused Assad's forces of repeatedly using chemical weapons to subdue rebels seeking to topple his government.

Spokesperson Captain Jeff Davis said the United States had seen activity that "indicated active preparations for chemical weapons use" at the Shayrat airfield in western Syria.

US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron agreed during a telephone call Tuesday on the need for a "joint response" in the event of another chemical attack in Syria, the French presidency said.

The White House issued its statement Monday night and warned Syria it would "pay a heavy price" if another such attack took place.

Just before 10 p.m. (ET) last night, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer issued a rather striking statement about developments in Syria, which raised the prospect of further USA military intervention.

The report said Assad toured the base and reviewed the modern military gear, including warplanes and armoured carriers. "We consider it unacceptable". Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict.

The Assad regime in April allegedly carried out a chemical weapons strike that left dozens of civilians dead, many of them children.

But Defense officials told BuzzFeed News that they had no knowledge of a pending chemical attack in Syria and "no idea" where the intelligence came from.

US President Donald Trump then made a decision to bomb the regime-held al-Shayrat airfield with 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles in retaliation.

In this image provided by the U.S. Navy, the guided-missile destroyer USS Porter (DDG 78) launches a tomahawk land attack missile in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, in a U.S. bombing of a Syrian target.

It is far deadlier than some other chemical weapons that US military and intelligence officials say the regime has used, such as chlorine.

Mr Assad and Russian Federation have also denied involvement in April's attack.

The White House said the Syrian regime may be preparing a chemical attack, while warning of severe consequences if it is carried out.

The attack "choked out the lives of helpless men, women and children", Trump said. "In the last case (in April), it was", Fallon told BBC Radio 4's Today programme. "If the Americans take similar action again, I want to be very clear - we will support it".

Assad's visit to the base apparently aims to showcase confidence and the strong alliance with Russian Federation in the face of the United States threats.

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