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In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, addresses a speech to the newly-elected parliament at the parliament building, in Damascus, Syria, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. Assad has vowed to liberate every inch of the country the way government forces captured the historic town of Palmyra from the Islamic State group. (SANA via AP)

White House: Syria’s Assad has made ‘potential preparations’ for a chemical attack

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White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Monday said that the U.S. had “identified potential preparations” for a chemical attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

“The United States has identified preparations for another chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime that would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children,” he said in a statement.

“The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 2017 chemical weapons attack,” the White House added.

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

Some Twitter users voiced doubt about the White House’s announcement, while others voiced alarm over the revelation.

President Trump in April authorized the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at Shayrat Airbase near the Syrian city of Homs.

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The president said that his decision was reportedly in response to a chemical weapons attack that allegedly originated near Shayrat via forces loyal to Assad.

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