Syria Moved Chemical Weapons to Airports: Rebels
And allegedly guns down prisoners in jail sit-in
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2012 7:19 AM CDT
Updated Jul 24, 2012 7:57 AM CDT
A Syrian military tank catches on fire during clashes with Syrian government troops in Aleppo.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)
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(Newser) – The Free Syrian Army believes that the Assad regime has moved chemical weapons to airports near the country's borders, in what the rebels say is a bid to put "pressure on the region and the international community," according to the Telegraph. The regime yesterday threatened to use its chemical arsenal against foreign interlopers. President Obama countered by warning in a speech that Syria would be "held accountable … should they make the tragic mistake of using those weapons."

Other news from Syria today:

  • Rebel forces are attempting to seize the central city of Aleppo, in an assault that coincided with a mutiny inside the Aleppo prison, which the Syrian National Council describes as a "peaceful sit-in."
  • The regime put down that mutiny with tear gas and machine gun fire from helicopters, killing 15 prisoners, Reuters reports. A fire broke out inside the prison, but the regime allegedly prevented help from arriving.
  • Fighting is still raging in Damascus. Should that battle turn against the rebels, the SNC says it would be willing to accept a transitional rule by a regime figure. "Syria has patriotic figures both in the regime and among officers in the Syrian army," a spokesman said.
  • Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the rebellion was "closer than ever to victory."
  • The Washington Post, meanwhile, reports that US efforts to gather intelligence in Syria—about either side—are not going well. The CIA still hasn't managed to establish a presence, hindering efforts to support rebels. "It's not like this is a new war," said one US official. "It's been going on for 16 months."