White House Warns Syria Over ‘Potential’ Plan For Chemical Attack

US accuses Assad of preparing a chemical attack warning that Syria's government would pay a "heavy price" if it goes ahead.

The US has issued a stark warning to the Syrian government after claiming to have identified “potential preparations” for another chemical attack in Syria.

So it seems we can expect another false flag to blame on President Bashar al-Assad along with a reason to attack pro-government forces.

A statement from the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer warned Assad and the Syrian military of “a heavy price,” as the US alleges that plans are under way for more chemical weapons attacks.

The Trump administration has insisted that the US is there to “eliminate” ISIS.

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

Officials at the state department and the Department of Defense were caught off guard by the White House announcement, suggesting it was not discussed in advance with other national security agencies, US media report.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, said Russia and Iran – Mr Assad’s key allies – would also be responsible if such an attack took place.

“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.

‘Crystal clear’ warning – Jonathan Marcus, BBC defence and diplomatic correspondent

The very public warning to the Syrian government against using chemical weapons is highly unusual. Such a step , which must surely be based upon detailed intelligence, might usually be delivered behind the scenes through diplomatic channels.

The use of chemical weapons requires tell-tale preparations such as the movement of particular units, the distribution of weapons to a base from which they can be delivered and so on, all capable of being picked up by US satellites or drones.

The warning is clearly intended to forestall such an attack and to make it clear that if the Syrian regime again crosses this line – just as it did last April – the US will respond with force.

This time though the context is very different. There is growing friction between the US and pro-Assad forces. A US strike now would risk Washington being drawn further into the conflict. But the warning from the White House is crystal clear.

So Assad is being threatened with serious consequences if there is a new chemical attack, when he didn’t even use them before.

Besides, his army just happens to be winning the fight against ISIS,  so the last thing they would want to do is provide an excuse for the USA to intervene.

Watch this space…