Syria's Chemical Arsenal: Bigger Than Thought?
Intelligence officials worry they can't secure it all
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 7:32 PM CDT
In this image made from amateur video in July, a Free Syrian Army soldier reacts during clashes with government troops in Aleppo, Syria.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

(Newser) – It's no secret that Syria's Bashar al-Assad has stockpiled a major cache of chemical weapons, but the Washington Post suggests that Assad has an ever bigger arsenal than previously thought. Two officials who have seen new intelligence reports tell the newspaper that the stockpile is not only bigger, it's more widely distributed around the country than originally thought. Figure "several hundred tons" of chemical weapons and components at about 20 hidden bunkers.

All of which makes the US and others antsy over what might happen to the weapons, either because the Assad regime gets desperate and uses them or because rogue insurgents overrun the sites and put them on the black market. As it did in Libya, the US is working with allies to have a plan in place to quickly secure the sites if the situation worsens.
 

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