The Pentagon is denying reports that the U.S. military launched missile and air strikes targeting a Syrian government airfield.
Syrian state television reported that several missiles struck the T-4 airfield in the city of Homs in the early hours of Monday, killing several people. It said Syrian air defence forces shot down eight other missiles.
In a statement, the Pentagon said, “At this time, the Department of Defense is not conducting air strikes in Syria,” adding that it was closely watching the situation.
Israel, which has previously struck Syrian army locations, declined to comment.
Civilian first responders said that over 40 people were asphyxiated in the attack, including several children.
U.S. authorities said their assessment of events in Douma led them to conclude that chemical weapons were used. The sources said their determination was made with some degree of confidence, although they stopped short of assigning blame for the attack.
White House homeland security and counterterrorism adviser Thomas Bossert refused to rule out the possibility of a U.S. missile strike, saying earlier Sunday, “I wouldn’t take anything off the table.”
Last year, the U.S. launched 59 Tomahawk missiles on the Syrian government’s Shayrat Airbase, in retaliation to a deadly chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun.
— With files from Reuters