The Pentagon believes the Assad regime likely has additional chemical weapons stocks at the airfield struck by US missiles last week, but these were deliberately left untouched, an official said on Monday.
US intelligence experts assess Bashar al-Assad’s military is probably hoarding the weapons in munitions depots at Shaerat airfield near Homs, the US military’s Central Command spokesman Colonel John Thomas said.
“We suspected there was a significant probability there could be other chemical weapons which would be ready to go, weaponized in those facilities, and so we didn’t strike those,” Thomas told reporters.
“Our advice was to make sure we didn’t inflict any greater damage by touching any of the chemical weapons in the area,” Thomas added.
“We were trying to degrade their capability to launch aircraft and to load them up with chemical weapons.”
The United States is prepared to take action again against the Assad regime if the regime continues to use chemical weapons and barrel bombs, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Monday.
“The sight of people being gassed and blown away by barrel bombs ensures that if we see this kind of action again, we hold open the possibility of future action,” Spicer said. The use of chemical weapons poses a threat to US national security, he added.
“When you watch babies and children being gassed and suffer under barrel bombs, you are instantaneously moved to action. I think this president has made it very clear that if those actions were to continue, further action will definitely be considered by the United States,” Spicer said. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department + Agencies)