The U.S. government is unprepared for a chemical attack against the homeland, a new report shows, even as the Islamic State takes responsibility for more terror attacks around the world and inches closer to gaining access to Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile.
The intelligence community in the United States is concerned that the Syrian government led by President Bashar Assad may deploy a large-scale chemical weapons attack as a last resort effort to protect regime strongholds from rebels in the embattled country.
Syrian President Bashar Assad’s army has used chemical weapons at least 29 times in the past year, according to testimony delivered Wednesday before the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The Islamic State is using chemical weapons against Kurdish forces in clashes in Northeast Syria, according to several Kurdish media outlets.
Syria has dismantled its chemical weapons program, roughly 1,290 metric tons, and is to be destroyed on board a U.S. ship, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Opposition figures have accused the Syrian regime of hiding chemical weapons in remote Alawite regions of northwestern Syria, defying its international commitment to eliminate its chemical stockpile by the end of June.
Minority Christians in Syria’s largest city Aleppo said they face starvation after dozens of believers already died in targeted attacks rocking Christian areas of the war-torn country.
Syrian Christians are reportedly targeted by rebels linked to Islamic terror groups and it remained unclear whether everyone fleeing the violence would be able to reach neighboring Turkey.