New movements reported at Syrian chemical weapons sites

Western intelligence officials have given new warnings to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after seeing the movement of chemical weapons at various sites.

A European official described the warnings, which were delivered through Russia and other intermediaries, as vague, in order to keep al-Assad guessing, according to the New York Times.

"It's not just moving stuff around," a U.S. official said, reports. "These are different kind of activities." The same official also said it appeared the regime was undertaking activities that suggested the Syrian military planned to use the weaponry.

"These are desperate times for Assad, and this may simply be another sign of desperation," a senior American diplomat said, the New York Times reports.

Beyond vague descriptions, there are few details being released as to what the movements actually were. The activity, however, appears to be of a different nature and officials appear less willing to say the chemical weapons sites still remain secure.

The White House has refused to comment intelligence reports, but issued its own warning to Assad.

"The president has made it clear that the use of chemical weapons in Syria would cross a red line for the United States," a senior administration official said, the New York Times reports. "We consistently monitor developments related to Syria's stockpiles of chemical weapons, and are in regular contact with international partners who share our concern."