Syria May Be Prepping Chemical Weapons
US official says activity suggests they may intend to use weapons
By Kate Seamons, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 3, 2012 7:02 AM CST
In this image made from amateur video, Free Syrian Army soldiers pose for a photo as a military tank, background, catches on fire during clashes with Syrian government troops in Aleppo.   (AP Photo/Ugarit News via AP video)

(Newser) – Syria and chemical weapons: Words you don't want to hear in the same sentence, but ones that are once again making headlines. The New York Times reports that the regime appears to be moving its chemical weapons again, according to intelligence out of Syria. But the most recent reports go beyond the straightforward transport of arms, with a US official describing the activity as suggestive of "some potential chemical weapon preparation." US officials wouldn't say whether Syria is nearing the "red line" Obama set in August, but Hillary Clinton trotted out the phrase again today, reports the Washington Post.

"This is a red line for the United States," she declared, reiterating that "we are certainly planning to take action" should the US obtain proof that Bashar al-Assad has deployed his chemical weapons. Meanwhile, the Guardian yesterday reported that it spoke with Turkish officials who explained that their country's desire to line the border with Patriot missiles stemmed from what the paper calls "credible evidence" that if Assad is unable to overcome the rebels using air power, he will turn to "missiles, perhaps with chemical warheads." It notes that the Free Syrian Army has had recent success in downing regime aircraft. The Pentagon last month reported that it would require 75,000 troops to secure Syria's chemical stockpiles.

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Showing 3 of 14 comments
Dec 3, 2012 8:23 PM CST
The best defense is offence, and as proof of this strategy, is Qaddafi. --- REALLY if Qaddafi had used his weapons of mass destruction he'd most probably would be alive today. --- Assad now knowing he will face the same fate as Qaddafi, should unleash every weapon of mass destruction he has on his enemies, namely Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, and on any NATO forces, before he dies. --- WHY have them if he won't use them? --- The US used weapons of mass destruction, and threaten to use them against Russia and China if attacked, so why shouldn't Assad use them? --- Qaddafi offered no defense against NATO and it's allies and they killed him, and now will Assad do the same? --------- REALLY?
Dec 3, 2012 4:34 PM CST
i bet assend will use them. why cant someone just take assend out with a drone?
Dec 3, 2012 12:01 PM CST
Russia Voices Concern over Deployment of Patriot Missiles on Turkish-Syrian Borders Press Attaché of the Russian Presidency, Dmitry Peskov, said that weapons and combatants are being transported to Syria through Turkey, voicing Russia's concern for various reasons over the deployment of Patriot missiles on the Turkish-Syrian borders, saying that this doesn't help stabilize the deteriorating situation in the region. In a statement on the sideline of the Istanbul meetings between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday, Peskov said that Russia's position on the crisis in Syria is consistent and transparent, stating that it's not right to support one side since this won't help resolve the situation; rather active help to one side will escalate conflict. He noted that talks between Russia and Turkey will deal with many issues, noting that there are many serious contradictions in viewpoints between the two countries on international levels. Peskov said that talks will deal with the Syrian situation and it's not unlikely that President Putin will discuss the issue of the detainment of the Syrian civilian airplane by Turkish authorities. Russian Foreign Ministry: Moscow Intends to Receive Number of Syrian Opposition Delegation Before End of 2012 Special Envoy of the Russian President to the Middle East, Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov announced on Monday that Moscow intends to receive a number of delegations from the Syrian opposition before the end of 2012. Russia Today website quoted Bogdanov as saying that a number of Syrian opposition delegations are expected to visit Moscow soon, and that Russian officials will hold talks with them and urge them to unite on constructive basis and the Geneva declaration, expecting that this would happen before New Year's Eve. He pointed out that Russia always called for uniting the Syrian opposition on constructive basis, noting that there are forces within this opposition that support a political resolution, yet many reject dialogue and call for military methods. Bogdanov said that Russia disagrees with rejecting dialogue and calling for military methods, and that it doesn't support unifying the opposition on such basis as this would continue bloodshed and escalate the situation in Syria. He also stated that Syria is witnessing more militarization of the conflict, as extremist opposition groups still receive large amounts of weapons, including very dangerous weapons such as portable anti-aircraft Stinger missiles. Bogdanov said that the militarization of the conflict in Syria is moving at full force which is a cause of concern for Russia as this doesn't help efforts to calm the situation and deal with all opposition groups to reach an immediate and full ceasefire.