That attack was the first direct US strike against Assad's forces since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in 2011 and marked a major shift from President Donald Trump, who had indicated during his campaign that his priority would be fighting ISIS and that he was willing to cooperate with both the Syrian government and Russian Federation to target the group.
On April 6, the USA military launched Tomahawk missiles that struck Shayrat airfield in response to the Syrian regime's chemical weapon attack on civilians. The U.N. has blamed three attacks on Assad's government and a fourth on the Islamic State group. He accused the White House of releasing the statement to pave the way for a "diplomatic battle" against Syria at the United Nations.
Russia, which has supported the Syrian regime since 2015 with air strikes against what it says are Islamist extremists, voiced anger at the tough rhetoric.
During an interview on CNN's "Erin Burnett Outfront", Deputy Assistant to the President Sebastian Gorka said he was unable to discuss the specific intelligence that prompted the warning or what a "heavy price" might mean.
"The president cares more about CNN and the Russian Federation story than [Syria] at the moment", one official observed.
European negotiators underwhelmed by British offer on rights
If they then went on to be absent from the United Kingdom for more than two years, however, they could lose that settled status . The EU's position was also set out earlier in June, in the four page Essential principles on citizens' rights .
Typically, the State Department, the Pentagon and U.S. intelligence agencies would be consulted before the White House issued a declaration sure to reverberate across foreign capitals. "And it moved very fast", a US intelligence official, who was not authorized to speak on the record, told FP on Tuesday.
Adrian Rankine-Galloway reportedly said Tuesday that the US saw the activity at the same airbase from where Syrian jets departed and returned to April 4 after allegedly dropping sarin gas on the town of Khan Shaykoun some 60 miles north.
"We're now starting to add to the sort of militarization of this particular tension between governments, and that's very worrying because these things can suddenly lose control and get out of hand", Billingsley said.
British Defence Minister Michael Fallon said London would support USA action to prevent a chemical weapons attack but that it had not seen the intelligence on which Washington based Monday's statement.
US defense officials said at the time that the intent of the strike was to limit the Syrian government's ability to carry out further attacks, and not to destroy the base.
Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday threats against the Syrian leadership are "unacceptable", and that he did not know of any information about a threat for a chemical attack.
The White House statement on Monday night was made without forewarning and caught State Department officials by surprise. "And I watched past administrations say, we will attack at such and such a day at such and such an hour". "We fully supported the last strike...and if the United States is considering a similar strike, then we will support that, too", Fallon said.
Iranians apply for US visas in neighboring countries because Washington and Tehran have had no diplomatic relations since the 1979 revolution.