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Pentagon: Active Prepartions in Syria  06/28 06:07

   The Pentagon on Tuesday said it detected "active preparations" by Syria for 
a chemical weapons attack, giving weight to a White House statement hours 
earlier that the Syrian government would "pay a heavy price" if it carried out 
such an attack.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon on Tuesday said it detected "active 
preparations" by Syria for a chemical weapons attack, giving weight to a White 
House statement hours earlier that the Syrian government would "pay a heavy 
price" if it carried out such an attack.

   A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said the U.S. had seen 
"activity" at Shayrat airfield that "indicated active preparations for chemical 
weapons use." That is the same base from which the Syria air force launched an 
attack in April that the U.S. and others said used lethal chemicals to kill 
civilians. Syria denied the charge.

   President Bashar Assad's government and Russia dismissed the White House 
allegation that Damascus was preparing a new chemical weapons attack. Russian 
President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that "such threats to 
Syria's legitimate leaders are unacceptable." Russia is Assad's key backer and 
sided with him when he denied responsibility for a chemical weapons attack that 
killed dozens of people in Idlib province on April 4.

   The U.S. responded to that attack by hitting the airfield with dozens of 
cruise missiles.

   A Monday evening statement by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said 
the U.S. 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."

   Spicer said the activities were similar to preparations taken before the 
attack in April, but provided no evidence or further explanation.


(KA)

 
 
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