Mattis Says Syria's Government Taking US Threat Seriously

Trump says'oui to French leader's Bastille Day invitation

In April, US President Donald Trump launched an attack on Syria with 59 Tomahawk missiles, which targeted Shayrat Airbase near the city of Homs. The U.S.so far hasn't provided details to bolster this week's claim of a chemical attack being planned.

"The warning that the president put out last night ... is very much letting them know that we're not going to give you a path for using chemical weapons on men, women and children", Haley said during testimony before the House Appropriations Committee.

A non-governmental source with close ties to the White House said the administration had received intelligence the Syrians were mixing precursor chemicals for a possible sarin gas attack in either the east or south of the country, where government troops and allied forces have faced recent setbacks.

The American warning came after U.S. intelligence noticed suspect activity at the airbase used to launch a suspected chemical strike two months ago.

"I think that Assad's chemical program goes far beyond one airfield", Mattis said. The statement came after American intelligence said it had identified "potential preparations" for another chemical attack in Syria - allegations which the Syrian government denied.

The disconnect underscores the extent to which President Trump is making foreign policy on the fly, with little regard for the opinions of the diplomatic and military establishments, and with a freewheeling style that couldn't be more different from the lawyerly approach of the Obama team, current and former USA officials told NBC News.

The United States conveyed the warning to Russian Federation via the "deconfliction channel" the two countries use to avoid clashes in Syrian airspace, but there is no evidence indicating that this deterred a chemical attack, the official said.

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In April, a power outage backed up trains around the city and closed a key Manhattan station for 12 hours. He said there was white smoke and "there was a lot of banging around in that vehicle - it was really bad".

Ali Haidar, the Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation, meanwhile, dismissed the White House statement.

Russian Federation dismissed the White House assertions that a strike was being prepared as "unacceptable". The U.S. State Department said it amounted to a war crime.

The Syrian President accused the United States of manufacturing the alleged attack in April as means to justify its air strike on Syria.

"Due to the president's actions, we did not see an incident", Haley told USA lawmakers.

Although the number of people killed in suspected chemical attacks is a small portion of the total dead in Syria's civil war - estimated at close to half a million - footage of victims writhing in agony has caused particular revulsion.

"We are here to protect the United States and its citizens to make sure that weapons of mass destruction are not used against civilians or do not spread into the hands of non-state actors".

On the Syrian battlefields, Turkish artillery bombarded and destroyed Kurdish YPG militia targets after the group's fighters opened fire on Turkish-backed forces in northern Syria. A Pentagon spokesperson said the activity was from "the past day or two". Last week, a USA aircraft shot down a Syrian government jet that had bombed US -backed fighters fighting the Islamic State in the militants' de facto capital, Raqqa. Iran provides Assad with troops while Russian Federation provides air support in his war against rebels and IS extremists.

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