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Pentagon: Syria still has capability for chemical attacks

Pentagon: Syria still has capability for chemical attacks
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A Pentagon official on Thursday said the Syrian government still has limited ability to launch a future chemical weapons attack, even after the U.S. and its allies struck three of the country's chemical facilities. 

Joint Staff Director Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told reporters the government of President Bashar Assad retains “a residual capability” to conduct an attack, “probably spread throughout the country at a variety of sites.”

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“They will have the ability to conduct limited attacks in the future. I would not rule that out. However, as they contemplate the dynamics of conducting those attacks, they’ve got to look over their shoulder and be worried that we’re looking at them and we’ll have the ability to strike them again should it be necessary,” McKenzie added.

Last week, the U.S. along with France and the United Kingdom launched 105 missiles at three Syrian chemical weapons facilities in response to a suspected chemical attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma that left dozens of civilians dead.

McKenzie noted that the strike most likely damaged Syria's “ability to work and improve their product.”

Chief Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, who appeared alongside McKenzie, said there was “no indication the Assad regime is prepared to launch another chemical weapons attack. However, we remain vigilant.”