The white house said on Monday evening that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad appears to be preparing another attack with chemical weapons, and warned that Assad would «pay a high price» if it happens, writes The New York Times.
«Some military officials were taken aback by the statement by the press Secretary of the President of trump, but it was not clear how confidential was the intelligence concerning potential chemical attack,» reads the article.
«The White house statement said that the preparation of Assad seem to be similar to those which, according to employees of Western intelligence, made the Syrian government before the April chemical attack, which killed dozens of Syrians, including children», – reports the authors Michael D. shear and Eric Schmitt.
«Such a threat may cause an unintentional collision on the background of how the rival forces converging to no one controlled areas of Syria. Their opposition, in fact, led to the war within the war,» journalists write.
Daryl Kimball, Executive Director of the Association for arms control, stated that he did not know about the preparation for new chemical attacks in Syria, but he believes that this statement is based on reports from intelligence, the article says. According to him, the rocket attacks, using sarin gas, as during the April strikes, require considerable training, which would be noticed by American intelligence.
Kimball added that he does not remember such a specific preventive public warnings about foreign governments, proscribed weapons, «at least in the last 20 years.» Often these issues are resolved by private messages through diplomatic and intelligence channels, he said.
«The message on Monday, it seems, is intended to prepare the ground for another potential military strike,» said the authors.