White House says Assad may be preparing chemical attack

US claims it appears Syria planning another chemical weapons attack

"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", White House spokesman Sean Spicer said.

The White House followed its allegation with a stern warning.

September 27, 2013: The U.N. Security Council orders Syria to account for and destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, following a surprise agreement between Washington and Moscow that averts us strikes. The statement says the activity is similar to what it noticed before the April 4 attack and warns that if "Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price". Days later, Trump ordered a cruise missile attack against the base in retaliation.

Five U.S. defense officials reached by BuzzFeed News said they did not know where the potential chemical attack would come from, including one U.S. Central Command official who had "no idea" about its origin.

The Islamic State is believed to have moved most of its leadership to Mayadin in Syria's Euphrates Valley, southeast of the group's besieged capital Raqqa, according to US intelligence officials. A senior Russian lawmaker accused the US of a "provocation".

Trump said at the time that the Khan Sheikhoun attack crossed "many, many lines", and called on "all civilized nations" to join the U.S.in seeking an end to the carnage in Syria.

Especially if the White House neglects to warn its own military first. Since Trump's inauguration, US involvement in Syria has deepened.

The United States has taken a series of actions over thepast three months demonstrating its willingness to carry outstrikes, mostly in self-defence, against Syrian governmentforces and their backers, including Iran. It has twice downed Iranian drones.

Following the April attack, President Donald Trump ordered an air strike against the Assad-controlled air field where the attack was believed to have been carried out. Hours later, the Pentagon elaborated without offering many specifics. Chemical weapons have killed hundreds of people since the start of the conflict.

Russian Federation is flying a bombing campaign in Syria in support of Assad, while the U.S. is heading a coalition mainly targeting IS. The U.S. and its Arab and Western allies, and Syrian opposition groups, accuse Assad's forces of many more instances of using sarin and chlorine against civilians.

Trump appeared to enforce the originally stated policy of former President Barack Obama and Kerry.

Syrian activists reported an IS jail was struck in the area on Monday, and said at least 42 prisoners were killed, along with several IS fighters.

The Kremlin is dismissing 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. Additionally, the former SC governor said she would blame Russian Federation and Iran for supporting the Syrian government.

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