White House accuses Syria's Assad of planning chemical weapons attack

Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said responsibility for any chemical weapons attacks would be shared by Russia and Iran.
By Carmelo Sheppard | Jun 30, 2017
In a controversial statement issued Monday evening, White House press secretary Sean Spicer warned that the U.S. had found "potential evidence" of another planned chemical weapons attack by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

"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," the statement warned. "The activities are similar to preparations the regime made before its April 4, 20107, chemical weapons attack."

The statement added that if Assad uses chemical weapons, he will pay "a heavy price."

Syria has dismissed the allegations. Ali Hadar, the Syrian minister for national reconciliation said the accusation against Assad signaled "a new diplomatic campaign against Syria at the U.N.," according to ABC News.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that his country does not understand the basis for the White House's allegations. He also said Russia disagrees with the wording "another attack."

Assad has denied responsibility for the April 4 attack, which pushed Trump to order a missile strike on a Syrian air base.

Nikki Haley, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., said responsibility for any chemical weapons attacks would be shared by Russia and Iran.

"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," tweeted Haley on Monday.

The Trump administration did not provide additional corroborating evidence to back up its claim that Assad was planning a chemical weapons attack.

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