The White House accused the President Bashar al-Assad's regime of plotting another chemical attack, similar to one that killed dozens and sparked a retaliatory U.S. airstrike, reported New York Daily News (US). "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," Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a statement. Spicer claims, without sharing evidence, that the Syrian government is undergoing similar preparations that preceded a deadly April 4 chemical bombing in the Idlib Province. Following that attack, Assad tried blaming Syrian insurgents for the attack, but a French probe in late April identified sarin gas samples collected from the rebel-held Khan Sheikhun were associated with Syrian laboratories. The chemical siege, responsible for killing more than 80 people, sparked a whirlwind of global condemnation after harrowing videos showed children possibly sickened by the gas. Trump fired back at Syria with a approved a cruise missile strike on a Syrian air base. The White House followed its abrupt allegation with a stern warning against future assaults. "If, however, Mr. Assad conducts another mass murder attack using chemical weapons, he and his military will pay a heavy price." It's unclear what prompted the formal threat, which caught several U.S. defense officials by surprise. Both the AP and Buzzfeed report that several of those officials were left out of the White House's planning for the Monday night email blast. The AP reports that a non-government source close to the White House said the Trump administration had been made aware of a possible sarin gas attack in the war-torn nation. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, double downed on the White House’s remarks late Monday and said that “future attacks” in Syria would be blamed on Assad’s regime. Additionally, the former South Carolina governor said she would blame Russia and Iran for supporting the Syrian government. President Trump ignored the threat in a brief tweet spree in the hour that followed the Press Secretary's statement. The President spent two tweets blasting the Russia-Trump probe as a "witch hunt," citing a Fox News report. "Great day for America's future Security and Safety, courtesy of the Supreme Court. I will keep fighting for the American people, & WIN," Trump added, referencing a SCOTUS ruling that authorized a limited version of Trump’s travel ban. *** Not long ago, the US military issued a brief statement in which it threatened to bomb the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) again if it were to carry out a chemical attack. Remarkably, the US declined to specify where such an attack might happen or was being prepared, reported Al Masdar News (Syria). With tensions on the rise between Washington and Damascus, the US ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said: “Any further attacks done to the people of Syria will be blamed on Assad, but also on Russia and Iran who support him killing his own people.” It is not yet known if the statement represents a false flag pretext to attack the SAA or whether US intelligence agencies have information backing up an alleged chemical attack in the making. On April 4, Donald Trump ordered the infamous strike on the Shayrat airfield in Syria in reaction to what Washington said was a poison gas attack by the Syrian government that killed at least 70 people in rebel-held territory. Syria denied it carried out the attack. Earlier this month, the SAA cut off a US garrison in southern Syria from its frontline with ISIS, thereby rendering American presence in the border region obsolete in terms of defeating the Islamic State.
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