The Assad regime in Syria appears to be taking the initial steps necessary to launch a chemical weapons attack, the White House said in a statement late on Monday.

The actions, if taken, would mean Assad and his government would “pay a heavy price,” the statement issued by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer reads.

According to Spicer, the preparations that are underway would lead to an attack that “would likely result in the mass murder of civilians, including innocent children.”

The statement is intentionally unclear what specific repercussions would be dealt to Assad, but the Trump Administration has established a clear precedent that any use of chemical weapons in Syria will be met with a military response. The most recent mass chemical weapons attack attributed to Assad and his regime on April 4, 2017, led to a cruise missile attack on military targets of the Syrian regime at the Shayrat Airbase in Syria.

The Syrian regime continues to deny any involvement in the April attack, which killed more than 80 men, women, and children.