Syria has reportedly backed down faced with a revival of the Franco-American “red lines” in Syria and is no
longer preparing a sarin attack on areas under rebel control. US Defence Secretary James Mattis
says it appears Syria had heeded the US warning issued on Monday that it would not let a new
chemical attack go unanswered.
The Syrian Ministry for National Reconciliation denied that it was making such preparations at the
Al Shayrat airbase, the same base that was used for an alleged chemical attack in April, and
repeated the claim Syria possessed no chemical weapons.
The Russians also came to Syria’s defence, denouncing the warning and dismissing the White House
assertions that a strike was being prepared as “unacceptable”, further raising tension between the two.