U.S. and allied intelligence have detected Syrian movement of chemical weapons components in recent days, a senior U.S. defence official said Monday, as the Obama administration again warned the Assad regime against using chemical weapons on Syrian rebels.
A senior defence official said intelligence officials have detected activity around more than one of Syria's chemical weapons sites in the last week. The defence official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about intelligence matters.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, in Prague for meetings with Czech officials, reiterated President Barack Obama's declaration that Syrian action on chemical weapons was a "red line" for the United States that would prompt action.
"We have made our views very clear: This is a red line for the United States," Clinton told reporters. "I'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice it to say, we are certainly planning to take action if that eventuality were to occur."
She didn't address the issue of the fresh activity at Syrian chemical weapons depots, but insisted that Washington would address any threat that arises.
The senior defence official said the U.S. does not believe that any Syrian action beyond the movement of components is imminent.