U.S. saw chemical weapons activity at Syrian base struck in April

MUNICH (Reuters) - The United States saw what appeared to be active Syrian preparations for a possible chemical weapons attack at Shayrat airfield, the same Syrian airfield the United States struck in April, Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said on Tuesday. "This involved specific aircraft in a specific hangar, both of which we know to be associated with chemical weapons use," Davis said, speaking by phone from Washington. Davis added that the worrisome activity dated back to "the past day or two." He did not say how the United States collected its intelligence. The White House said on Monday it appeared the Syrian government is preparing for another chemical weapons attack and it warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad he and his military would "pay a heavy price" if it conducts such an attack. The U.S. cruise missile strike on the Shayrat airfield in April followed the deaths of 87 people in what Washington said was a poison gas attack in rebel-held territory. Syria denied it carried out the attack. (Reporting by Phil Stewart; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Bernard Orr)