The White House has warned there are “potential preparations for another chemical weapons attack” by the Syrian regime and told the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad, he would face a “heavy price” if one is carried out.
Days after that strike on a rebel-held town, the United States launched a cruise missile strike on the airfield in retaliation – the first direct USA attack on the Syrian regime.
August 7, 2015: The U.N. Security Council authorizes the OPCW and U.N. investigators to examine possible chemical weapons use in Syria, as reports circulate of repeated chlorine gas attacks by government forces against civilians in opposition-held areas.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley made an additional statement on social media that notably added Iran and Russian Federation as accessories to the potential war crime. “You’ve got to really play this thing very carefully and the closer we get, the more complex it gets”.
“The hope is that Assad as he should, takes them seriously, takes the President seriously and makes the decision to not use chemical weapons thereby saving hundreds and hundreds of lives”.
USA and allied intelligence officers had for some time identified several sites where they suspected Assad’s government may have been hiding newly made chemical weapons from inspectors, said a us official familiar with the intelligence.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov says that “such threats to Syria’s legitimate leaders are unacceptable”.
Assad has denied responsibility for that attack in the rebel-held Idlib province that killed dozens of people, and Russia, Assad’s key backer, sided with him.
Mattis said with the various forces converging on ISIS in the Euphrates River Valley, it may require dividing it into smaller zones between the U.S., Syria, and Russian forces.
A Monday evening statement by White House Press Secretary 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”.
In April, global chemical weapons inspectors found what they called “incontrovertible” evidence that Sarin gas, or a similar substance, was used in the chemical attack that killed 89 people.
The overnight White House threat caught many in Trump’s own administration by surprise.
Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies would be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to reverberate across foreign capitals.
The State Department officials weren’t authorized to discuss national security planning publicly and requested anonymity.
The White House offered no details on what prompted the warning. “Anonymous leaks to the contrary are false”. It marked the first time the US has attacked Syrian forces in the six-year civil war. A senior Russian lawmaker accused the US of a “provocation”.
After the April attack, Trump gave orders to fire dozens of Tomahawk missiles at Shayrat in central Syria.
Iran’s foreign minister has denounced as a “dangerous escalation” the White House allegations that Syria is preparing a new chemical weapons attack.
August 20, 2012: President Barack Obama says using chemical weapons is a “red line” that would change his calculus on intervening in the civil war and have “enormous consequences”. Kimball said that the risk of coming into conflict with Russian forces in the event of another punitive USA strike was higher now than it was in April.
His visit came weeks after a United Nations commission of inquiry into the conflict concluded that al-Assad’s regime had committed multiple war crimes during last year’s battle for Aleppo.