Saturday, July 14, 2012

Syria moves chemical weapons

From Israel Hayom, 14 July 2012:
WASHINGTON — U.S. officials said that Syria has started to move part of its chemical weapons arsenal out of storage facilities...
The country's undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide ...[are] believed to be the world's largest stockpile.
...Some fear Assad may want to use the weapons against rebels or civilians, while others said perhaps he is trying to safeguard them from his opponents...
"This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch," one official told the [Wall Street] Journal. "This is incredibly dangerous to our national security."
... administration officials have already begun to hold classified meetings about the new intelligence. The officials are especially concerned over Syria's stockpile of sarin gas, a deadly nerve agent. The officials wouldn't comment on where the weapons have been moved...
U.S. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland...said Friday, "We repeatedly made it clear that the Syrian government has a responsibility to safeguard its stockpiles of chemical weapons."
She added that "the international community will hold accountable any Syrian officials who fail to meet that obligation."
Syria is one of eight states — along with Israel and nearby Egypt — that have not joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which means the world's chemical weapons watchdog has no jurisdiction to intervene there....
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