As Syria acknowledges they have chemical weapons, rebels trying to find and keep them
By Madison Ruppert
Editor of End the Lie
On Monday, in an astonishing move, the Syrian government acknowledged that they have chemical weapons and will use them if attacked by foreign nations, marking the first time any such acknowledgement has been made.
Previously, I have speculated on the possibility of chemical weapons claims being leveraged to justify an invasion as well as pointing out the Saddam-like accusations being made in the media regarding these weapons.
It now appears that all of my statements regarding the lack of factual evidence behind the chemical weapons accusations are now null and void. However, I believe we must also consider the reasons why the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would lie about possession of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
The Assad government could very well be putting out the threat because they are scrambling in fear over the prospect of being attacked by outside forces.
If they actually do have chemical weapons, however, and are willing to use them, the threat was not only miscalculated but potentially disastrous for their few remaining allies like Russia and China.
Personally, I don’t find it surprising that the Russian Foreign Ministry openly spoke out against the Syrian threat on Tuesday, since the statement put Russia and China in an awkward diplomatic situation.
This threat has made Syria out to be an aggressor, which is completely contrary to the picture painted by Russia, China and others who question the Western campaign against Syria.
That being said, this situation is not making the rebels look good, either.
The terrorist group known as the Free Syrian Army (FSA) has reportedly begun preparing to “secure” Assad’s chemical weapons, even going as far as to create a special unit for the task.
“We have a group just to deal with chemical weapons. They are already trained to secure sites,” said Adnan Silou to the Telegraph.
Adnan Silou is one of the highest ranking members of the Assad government to defect to the armed opposition and until 2008, Silou was allegedly drafting emergency response plans to deal with scenarios in which the Syrian government lost control of its weapons.
Silou claims to have trained thousands of troops to capture the chemical weapons sites which, according to unnamed “analysts” cited by the Telegraph, “are the largest chemical weapons stores in the world, consisting principally of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide.”
However, it is worth pointing out that they cannot even say that analysts know this, instead opting to say “analysts believe” that they have the largest chemical weapons stores.
Regardless, Silou is clearly itching to get his hands on the weapons.
“We trained them in securing stores, in reconnaissance of possible threats, in how to purge supplies and in treatment should Syria come under attack a chemical or biological attack,” Silou said.
“There were two main stores — warehouse 417 in east Damascus, and another, number 419 in Homs area. We had 1,500 soldiers and two or three generals stationed at each base,” he said.
Silou also apparently believes that Assad could use the chemical weapons against his own people, even though the Foreign Ministry’s statement denied any such intention.
“I know Bashar al-Assad’s character. It is very possible that he will use the chemical weapons against his own people,” said Silou.
“They can deploy them from tanks, from rockets, and from helicopters,” he added.
However, Jihad Makdissi, a spokesman for the Syrian Foreign Ministry stated that they would not use their “unconventional arms” against Syrian citizens.
“Any chemical or bacterial weapons will never be used … during the crisis in Syria regardless of the developments,” said Makdissi.
“These weapons are stored and secured by Syrian military forces and under its direct supervision and will never be used unless Syria faces external aggression,” Makdissi added according to NBC News.
The Syrian FSA has shown absolutely no interest in giving up the weapons if they actually ever “secure” them, which is hardly surprising for a violent terrorist organization.
As Kris Alexander, an officer for the United States Army writing for Danger Room, writes, “[Silou] does not sound like a man who wants to bring Syria into compliance with global nonproliferation efforts. Instead, it sounds like a man who understands the deterrent value of Syria’s WMD and wishes to retain it.”
“This is yet another piece of the puzzle for those advocating supporting the rebellion,” Alexander writes. “Will an FSA-led Syria be any better than Assad?”
The answer is clearly, no.
If you’re wondering how I can make such an assertion, all you have to do is look at how Libya has become in the wake of regime change and the murder of Muammar Gaddafi.
The uprising in Syria – and seemingly inevitable intervention – is in every way similar to what Libya experienced.
Al Qaeda supporting the opposition? Check. Rebels engaging in terrorism? Check. Foreign nations pushing for intervention? Check. Rebels calling for intervention? Check. Large weapons stores primed and ready to fall into the hands of rebels? Check.
Unfortunately, now Syrian rebels are claiming that the Syrian government forces are moving chemical weapons close to the nation’s borders, making the problem that much more pressing.
I could go on but I think you get the point. All we can do now is hope that this conflict is diffused in the most peaceful way possible and that we do not see any horrific uses of chemical weapons from any side.
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