US warns Syria over ‘planned’ chemical attack

Washington, Tuesday The US says Syria’s government appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack and has warned that it will “pay ...

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo/Courtesy

Washington, Tuesday

The US says Syria’s government appears to be preparing for a chemical weapons attack and has warned that it will “pay a very heavy price” if one takes place.

The White House said similar activities had been seen before bombs containing the nerve agent Sarin were allegedly dropped on a rebel-held town in April. Dozens of people were killed, prompting President Donald Trump to order a missile strike on a Syrian airbase.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the incident was fabricated. His close ally, Russia, meanwhile said an air strike had hit a rebel depot full of chemical munitions and released toxic agents into the air - a claim that rebel factions and the Western powers which back them have dismissed.

In a statement, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said the US had “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”.

“The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its 4 April 2017 chemical weapons attack,” he added, referring to the incident in Khan Sheikhoun.

“As we have previously stated, the United States is in Syria to eliminate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. If, however, Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price.”

The White House provided no supporting evidence or further explanation. US permanent representative to the UN, Nikki Haley, also said Russia and Iran - another Assad ally - would be held responsible if there was an attack.

“Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia & Iran who support him killing his own people,” she tweeted.

But officials at the state department and Pentagon were caught off guard by the White House statement, according to US media reports, suggesting that their departments were not consulted in advance. -BBC

The post US warns Syria over ‘planned’ chemical attack appeared first on Mediamax Network Limited.



from WORLD – Mediamax Network Limited http://bit.ly/2tUQeDx
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