Bashar Assad

Pentagon: 'active preparations' by Syria for chemical attack

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.

The U.S. accusation and ominous warning marked a further escalation of tensions in a country where the U.S. is using Syria Arab and Kurdish proxy soldiers to combat the Islamic State group in its remaining strongholds, even as Russia and Iran work to prop up President Bashar Assad, who has gained the upper hand in a long civil war.

A Pentagon spokesman, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, said the U.S. had seen...

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