Syria moves chemical weapons out of storage
Transfer’s motive is unclear; new massacre alleged
By Eric Schmitt | NEW YORK TIMES | JULY 14, 2012
WASHINGTON — Syria has started moving some parts of its huge stockpile of chemical weapons out of storage, US officials said Friday, but it was uncertain whether the transfer was a precaution as security conditions across the country rapidly deteriorated or something more sinister.
Some analysts and lawmakers said Syria’s president, Bashar Assad, might use chemical weapons in a last-ditch attack against an increasingly potent rebel force, possibly as part of a campaign of ethnic cleansing. Other officials said Syrian security forces might be moving parts of the arsenal to prevent it from falling into rebel hands.
“The truth is, we just don’t know,’’ said one US official who has been monitoring intelligence reports since the Syrians began moving the chemical weapons in recent days. ‘‘There’s a big gaping hole in what we know.’’
Israel advised to brace for Syrian missile attack – conventional or chemical
DEBKAfile Special Report | July 14, 2012, 2:36 PM (GMT+02:00)
Western military sources warned Saturday, July 14, that not only Israel, but Turkey and Jordan, too, should prepare for chemical missile strikes by a beleaguered Bashar Assad after missiles were test-fired this week in the Syrian war game against all three. There is disagreement in the West on Assad’s motives for moving his WMD out of storage. Some US officials say he is safeguarding them against falling into rebel hands; British officials report chemical weapons at Homs, Latakia and Aleppo deployed for ethnical cleansing.
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