US State Department “special adviser” on Syria Jim Jeffrey claimed to be “very sure” that the US has evidence that Syria is preparing to conduct chemical weapons attacks against rebels in Idlib Province, after weeks of threatening to attack Syria if such weapons are used.
Jeffrey didn’t say what the evidence was, but claimed the US wouldn’t make the allegations without “very, very good grounds,” and that there is “lots of evidence that chemical weapons are being prepared.”
This stands in stark contrast to previous comments from intelligence officials, who said they had yet to have any specific intelligence on activity at the suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria. Indeed, all reports on such attacks in the media seem to be based entirely on the fact that the US keeps claiming such attacks are possible.
Jeffrey indicated that the chemical attack wasn’t really a big deal in and of itself, either, saying that “any offensive is to us objectionable as a reckless escalation.” Other US officials have similarly said they object to any Syrian military offensive against al-Qaeda in Idlib, and they’re going to complain and threaten even though no chemical attack is liable to occur.