WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. officials say intelligence agencies did not detect the Syrian regime readying a massive chemical weapons attack in the days ahead of the strike, only piecing together what had happened after the fact.
Senior U.S. officials say intercepted communications of commanders telling Syrian military units to prepare for the strikes against a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21 were in the hands of U.S. intelligence agencies, but had not yet been "processed."
That explains why the White House didn't warn the regime as it had when detecting previous preparations for chemical strikes.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the intelligence publicly.
A spokesman for the director of national intelligence confirmed Wednesday that U.S. intelligence did not detect the massive chemical weapons attack beforehand.