The threat comes as Syrian forces advance on oil and gas-rich areas south of Raqqa, where US and UK special forces have established a forward operating base to launch an offensive on IS’s last stronghold.
New equipment including man-portable chemical agent detector systems, known as MCAD, have already been flown forward to SAS troops operating with a US-led Joint Special Operation Task Force.
A source said: “The threat is live, therefore we have deployed new equipment to ensure they are protected. It includes everything from detectors to new suits.”
British special forces in Syria have been given chemical warfare suits
We have deployed new equipment to ensure they are protected
Chlorine attacks by IS have always been a threat to coalition troops, which already had nuclear, biological and chemical suits similar to those issued during the Iraq conflict in 2003.
Last week, however, intelligence reports warned that Assad’s forces are preparing to use nerve agents as part of their military arsenal.
It is thought that sarin would be placed into shells and fired by artillery.
President Bashar al-Assad’s launched sarin gas attacks in Syria Horrific images depict sickening chemical gas attack in Syria Tue, April 4, 2017
At least 58 people, including nine children, were killed in an air raid that released "toxic gas" on the rebel-held Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun
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A child receiving treatment at a field hospital after an alleged chemical attack in Idlib, northen Syria
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Unlike the old suits, which were made of carbon, new versions are tougher and come in one piece to minimise the chances of accidental contamination.
Other new equipment includes drone detectors used to analyse airborne particles in the atmosphere.
Similar detectors have also been placed on vehicles.