U.S. says Syria could be producing sarin gas
U.S. officials would not release many details concerning intelligence developments, but said that Washington is concerned that Syrian forces are starting preparations for a chemical attack at more than one facility in the civil war-torn country, according to CNN.
The U.S. military believes Syria possesses at least 50 chemical weapon production sites across the country and dozens of additional research centers and storage facilities. Syria is thought to have some of the most advanced chemical weapons warfare capabilities in the region capable of producing mustard gas, sarin and potentially VX nerve agent.
Damascus has repeatedly denied that it would use chemical weapons against its own people, but has warned that it would be willing to use them, if they exist, against foreign invaders.
Senior U.S. military officials recently confirmed that intelligence shows activity at a small number of sites, but no evidence that weapons have been moved out of them. They declined to describe details about the activity, but said there has yet to be any sign that Syria was ready to deploy chemical weapons.
"I want to make it absolutely clear to Assad and those under his command - the world is watching," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a warning to Damascus, CNN reports. "The use of chemical weapons is and would be totally unacceptable. And if you make the tragic mistake of using these weapons, there will be consequences and you will be held accountable."