News24

Syria chemical weapons 'moved to borders'

2012-07-24 09:04

Beirut - The Syrian government has moved chemical weapons to airports on its borders, the rebel Free Syrian Army said on Tuesday, a day after the regime warned it could use them if attacked by an outside force.

"We in the joint command of the Free Syrian Army inside the country know very well the locations and positions of these weapons," a statement from the FSA said.

"We also reveal that [President Bashar] Assad has transferred some of these weapons and equipment for mixing chemical components to airports on the border."

The statement said the weapons had been moved in a bid to pressure the international community, much of which has called for Assad to step aside in the face of a 16-month uprising against his rule.

"According to our information, the regime began moving its stocks of weapons of mass destruction several months ago... with the goal of putting pressure on the region and the international community," the FSA said.

But the group said it was impossible to believe that the regime would use its weapons against neighbouring Israel, which has publicly expressed concerns about the fate of Syria's massive chemical weapons stocks.

International condemnation

"The regime that has not fired a single bullet against Israel during the course of three decades is certainly not going to use chemical weapons against that country," the statement said.

The Syrian regime made public reference to its chemical weapons stocks for the first time on Monday, with foreign ministry spokesperson Jihad Makdissi warning they could be used if outside forces attacked.

"Syria will not use any chemical or other unconventional weapons against its civilians, and will only use them in case of external aggression," Makdissi told reporters.

"Any stocks of chemical weapons that may exist, will never, ever be used against the Syrian people," he said, adding that in the event of foreign attack, "the generals will be deciding when and how we use them".

The comments sparked international condemnation, including from the United States, with US President Barack Obama warning Syria not to make the "tragic mistake" of using such weapons.

Makdissi backtracked somewhat later, stressing in an e-mail that Syria would "never use chemical and biological weapons during the crisis... and that such weapons, if they exist, it is natural for them to be stored and secured".

Comments
  • ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-24 09:19

    Here we go...the plan is in motion. So this is how it goes. USA/Britain cannot get NATO resolution to invade so they want to go it on their own but now need to convince the public. The dreaded WMD must be the key as everyone will believe this so called dictator will use them. So the US calls their Free Syrian Army chief and says 'Tell us that the government has moved the weapons and is on the verge of using them' then the Rebel chief releases a statement saying exactly that. Everyone believes that the rebels themselves (acting on their own) are now fearing for their lives because of a WMD strike. The US comes in with guns blazing to save the day. The ignorant who do not want to think for themseleves believe these lies, and a thousands of people die in the name of 'democracy'

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 09:42

      Oh gosh....one too many doobies my friend, I see you into conspiracy theories, tell me more..please do?

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-24 09:51

      US and Britain haven't called for a resoultion from Nato ,they called for resolution from the UN security council which they are fully entitled to do . Not only that it was voted for by the overwhelming majority (vetoed by the two autocratic regimes). Another thing is that Assad is not a 'so-called' dictator , he is a dictator. There is no room to argue that . The rest of this is self evident load of BS. The international community is concerned however that these weapons fall into the hands of Assads foreign terror organisation Hezbollah .

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-24 10:19

      Bradley: As you are so smart why dont you tell me 1.) What percentage of the total mass media is controlled by one corporation? And do you not think it is possible for that organisation to act in the interest of itself and/or partners? 2.) Do you know anything about these rebel fighters, except that in any other country (besides the middle east) they would be classified as terrorists and be shot dead on the spot? 3.) Does invading a country in the past based on a rumors of WMP not ring a bell? ding dong...been there, done that, 600 000 people dead. You say you want to save the people in Syria. What i cannot understand is how you see the continued war as saving people. Why are the rebels not going to the negotiating table? I am not here to tell you more about anything. If you want to gain knowledge and insight do some research. The strange thing about the world today is that the truth is being hailed as conspiracy theory while lies are seen as the truth.

      DSBennie - 2012-07-24 10:25

      They are not rumors of weapons of mass destruction, Syria confirmed that they are in possession of chemical and biological weapons, Having them is not illegal for Syria cause they are one of only a handful that have not signed the chemical weapons treaty, but using them is illegal under international law so the international community CAN and MUST intervene if they are used, as for Iraq they DID have chemical weapons that where used against Iran during their war against that country

      oneant.kasinski - 2012-07-24 10:41

      there's no point ghengis. people like bradley will flip on CNN tonight and be and expert of their own illusions. i find repeaters (people who watch something they are told on TV) and rebroadcast it to their friends / co-workers / family / news24 forumites as truth - amusing. As if Bradley can unequivacally say that he is right and you, dear Ghengis, are wrong. Being German, I remember this mindset being predominant just before the Third Reich came to power. All the best Bradley. I hope you dont freak out too much when WW3 caused by the West and blamed on the Middle East takes your Woolies dinners away.

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 11:04

      What it boils down to is that 74% of the country want elections....a fair democracy for every one just as it was in SA in 1994...are you denying the people of Syria a free and fair life? Why does ASS-ad have to be a tyrant about it...? why slaughter 1000s of lives just so he can stay on top and in power....he won't go to the polls because he will lose and he knows it. Oneant...no one cares that you are German firstly secondly i don't do woolies except their onion rings of course.thirdly should WW3 come, i will be prepared worry about yourself and family. CNN? wow really I don't even own a TV never the less DSTV. Im not saying im right what im trying to get across is that people in the world deserve a chance to vote for what they want, from what i can see from Ghengis and oneant is that you will always live backwards...

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-24 11:31

      The similarities between the National Socialists of Germany and the 'west' are far and few between . Oneant , you must be past your eighties to have a recollection of the mindset before the Third reich came to power. A system in complete control of all media, in a far less open world . A call bollucks. I think if 'they' had as much control that is assumed then planting a nuke in Iraq would have been easy.

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-24 11:54

      @Bradley: Please share any proof that 74% of the Syrian people want elections. That aside, it is not really my point. I believe the Syrian people should have elections and vote a new leader into power. I also believe that Assad should go, it is how it is achieved that I have a problem with. You cannot just expect a leader to step down to a bunch of thugs with guns. There needs to be negotiations on how the government with transition. This is the plan on the table. The point is that the Rebels dont want to negotiate, they dont want peace, and what is worse is that the USA and the cronies support them, when in fact they are going against the very plan drafted at the UN security council. This is hypocrisy, and the only reason one can think of is that the USA wants the very same thugs to take control. They do not want Assad to have ANY say. But you cannot have a peaceful solution if only one side has a say....can you?

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-24 13:42

      Ghengis, ""There needs to be negotiations on how the government with transition. This is the plan on the table. The point is that the Rebels dont want to negotiate......"" You are soo wrong ! Why should the Syrian people have to negotiate with assad ?? He is a terrorist, whose daddy 'stole' the country from its people. He is the head of an illegitimate regime Daddy and his lovely son 'REFUSED, for FIFTY YEARS, to sit down with the opposition. NOW IT IS TOO LATE These assads and their inner circle are NOT going to be part of a new Syria. They will be lucky, if they will come out alive, let alone sitting around a negotiating table !!

      ghengis.khan.585 - 2012-07-24 14:29

      @Anthony. I thought the objective is to find peace and save human lives? If this is the objective, then the parties need to go to a negotiation table and agree upon the way forward towards a transitional government. If it is war that they want then they continue as they are doing. Noone knows who these bunch of thugs are. It is rumoured that many of them are hired guns from neighboring counmtries, not even Syrians. The majority of Syrians still support Assad, so why should be give up power to a bunch of thugs. Who classifies a regime legitimate? You, or the USA? What about Saudi Arabia, Quatar, Bahrain, are these 'legitimate' regimes or family businesses? And why are they given the grace of the USA ? Your arguments have not basis and are shallow rhetoric that you are broadcasting. You seem very confident in your predication of the outcome for someone that clearly has very little understanding about the complexities of the situation.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-24 14:55

      Ghengis, "To find peace and save human lives" Sure, but it is a myth that the opposition will 'ever' sit down with this assad terrorist, who is responsible for the murder of 19 000 of their family members, friends and other opposition members. Since 1970, when papa assad, a member of a tiny minority tribe, shot his way to power, the opposition did 'ask' these assads to sit around a negotiating table. And since 1970, the asssad's response has been a brutality beyond believe. Besides the 1982 uprising in Hama, , that costs the lives of 20000 opposition members, THOUSANDS have since than be executed. THEIR CRIME; opposing these assad's. ""The majority of Syrians still support Assad"" This is just silly talk ! these dictators are scum, and most of them are mass murderers, but stupid ? = NO Are you really that ignorant, to believe, that if these assads, would have the backing from the majority of Syrians, they would not have held elections over all these years. Come on, go to fantasy land !! ""Who classifies a regime legitimate"" This papa assad, shot his way to power, and has not held elections for fifty years, and you want to make out the assads are a ligitimate regime ?? Syria is a souvereign state, run by an illigitimate regime !! ""Your arguments have not basis and are shallow rhetoric that you are broadcasting"" Let's rather agree that YOU support a murdereres tyrant, and ME support the Syrian people!!

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-24 16:45

      Assad's government has itself openly stated it will use chemical weapons on foreigners. So your whole point is a made-up story that you like to tell yourself. It keeps you blind, and does nothing to end the wholesale slaughter of Muslims at the hands of Jihadists and unelected dictators. You're part of the problem, not the solution.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-24 16:58

      The lie you see is the lie you're telling yourself.

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 09:43

    They must just try going chemical! Ass-ad will regret the day he was born.

      keith.murphy.9638 - 2012-07-24 10:19

      he should use those weapons to defend his country mater, so whats wrong with that if they want to bully him.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-24 10:48

      @ Bradley Is that meant to be a threat to Assad? He has little to fear - consequence wise. What's the West gonna do in response? Send Nato to bomb Assad and be greeted with chemical weapons - nerve agents, sarin etc - delivered via ballistic missiles, etc (if reports are true of course). Let us also not assume that all Western nations are drinking the Obama cool aid... German Intelligence has accused the so-called rebels (a.k.a. terrorists) of "massacre marketing" (i.e. slaughtering civilians and blaming the Assad regime). In other (potentially) related news: the Saudi deputy chief of Intelligence was killed in a bomb blast in Riyad on Sunday. Could be internal rebels or Iran or... So many potential candidates. BUT the Saudis are scared. They called for an "extraordinary" meeting of Muslim despots to tackle "sedition" in Muslim states. Mind you, it is only "sedition" when it isn't happening in Syria! It is definitely "sedition" when it affects the Saudis! Clearly the masses (being sheep) and believing the silly double standards from the West and the Arab League don't see the inherent hypocrisy here... Back to Assad: He has nothing to fear in using those weapons. That's a FACT. Is the Assad regime speaking in the abstract when it says it will use chemical weapons against foreign invaders? No. The regime has released photos of alleged foreign jihadists killed in Syria. Assad, it seems, has targets in mind.

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 11:08

      @Psalm you do know that 10% of Syria are christians...so i can see why you are worried...any way Syria will rid of this Tyrant and it will move on...THE WORLD WILL BE FREE AND NO LONGER LIVE IN THE DARK AGES.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-24 11:08

      assad,already regrets coming back to Syria, from a comfortable life in the UK. We are seeing the same signs as in the last days of the gaddafi regime. NO snipers, tanks, rockets, air force, gunship helicopters, terrorist soldiers, not even chemicals weapons can win against more than 20 million Syrians, who are more determent than ever; they want a future without these assad terrorists. And they will succeed !!!

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-24 11:25

      @ Bradley I am fully aware of the precarious position that the Syrian Christians find themselves in. They are caught between a rock and a hard place. The fact remains: they have less to fear from Assad than they do from the Islamist so-called "rebels", who, in certain parts controlled by them are driving out Christians and imposing the discriminatory extortionist, mafia tax called "jizyah". Perhaps you consider these jizyah imposing terrorists "democracy-loving rebels". I don't. Those are the realities I deal with. What are yours? As driven as Putin may be by other "interests", he did give the head of the Russian Orthodox Church an ear when he raised concern about the Syrian Christians and other minorities - especially as they are facing a Sunni majority Islamist rule, if these so-called "rebels" win. This is far more than the so-called President of the USA has ever bothered to consider. Has it ever occured to masses (i.e. sheep drinking the Obama Kool Aid) that many of those supporting the Assad regime do so as a matter of survival as the majority Sunni rebels are known to slaughter non-Sunnis? You are naive if you imagine these jizyah imposing Islamists are going to bring an enlightened age to Syria... Enjoy the Kool Aid.

      bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 11:39

      Yes Psalm of course it is all about the minorities I forgot I'm so sorry...especially if they are Christians right...forget about the other people and religions, how naive of me.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-24 11:47

      Bradley, ""They must just try going chemical! Ass-ad will regret the day he was born"" So true, but in the meantime, an animal in a corner, is highly dangerous, and only when he is in a cage , like Mubarak was, can any decent human being relax. ( yes those woolies onion rings; delicious , and you must try their liver pate`=mmmmmmmmmmm )

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-24 11:50

      @ Bradley Yes, it is all about the security of minorities. In case you missed the newsflash - even the Kurds opposing Assad are beginning to demand their own state within Syria. They know what these majorities are capable of. The Alawite minority fights because it knows what awaits it from the Sunni majority. Only an ignorant individual will try to downplay the majority vs minority interplay in the Middle East. The fact remains: If Assad wants to use those chemical weapons he can and no amount of Western posturing is going to change that.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-24 11:59

      psalm , there is only a double standard if you think each of these middle eastern states are exactly the same , in the exact same political place ,exact same political fremwork, the internal support for reforms are the exact same and you can use the exact same foreign policies . If you make that grand generalisation and forgo the everything alse then your double standard 'theory' makes sense . Saudi Arabia is a completely different situation, number 1 its not in a civil war , number 2 there is a religious complexity when dealing them that extends beyond their borders. It could be that the Arab league sees these differences? I hold no love for the Saudi theocracy but i see distinctions between the various countries as well as the need to treat each one accordingly. These are not children you are required to 'love equally' . ps: Use of chemical weapons will force a military intervention and Assad will be out within days of operation.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-24 12:18

      @ allcoveredinNinjas Your comment is irrelevant to what I have raised. Essentially pointless. Which part of "Muslim despots" do you not comprehend? Why is Saudi Arabia supporting the removal of Assad, while using every oppressive means to stay in power? Or are you under the impression that the ruling Al-Saud have been elected by popular vote. Your comment is mere posturing. Russia has strategic interest in Syria - it isn't going to give it up without a fight. Obama can't even be bothered to deal with Iran, now you want me to believe that he's suddenly going to be attacking Assad - who has China and Russia? Actually, Obama, Cameron and Hollande are so clueless, they will probably try such an attack on Syria (a tread softly country for the whole region) and bring on WW3. Do you even KNOW what stockpile of weapons and biological agents Assad allegedly has, while you croack that military intervention will deal with him? Do you imagine that the foreign armies are going to be immune to those chemical weapons and biological agents? Do you ignorantly imagine that Assad cannot pass on those weapons and biological agents to Hizbollah and other groups he supports (some of which also operate in the West)? Stick to your Kool Aid...

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-24 14:14

      Okay , firstly so the sanctions on Iran is not dealing with them?(didn't know that its arbitarly assigned) Next, i'm not arguing the Saudi case my point is that Saudi Arabia is different from Syria , Iran , Bahrian , Iraq , Qatar ect and as such you can't use template policies when engaging them. Not sure what you arguing there. Again read my comment on the above comment about Hizbollah and Syria , i have no illusions on that. Finally , your rant on Assad using chemical weapons and its affiliation with Russia and China. Russia and China will not engage(militarily)the 'west' or America in support for Assad , thats truely delusionary . I doubt a single soldier will touch foot on syrian soil before those weapons are dealt with and not only that if he does use them , under international law (geneva protocol) it would be considered a war crime , a grave breach (whether signatory or not) and obligates the UN security council to act and a protecting power to take control of the interests of the state and its citizens. That is a very real concern for Assad , the death nail so to say. You give Assads forces a lot of credit considering they haven't gotton a handle on ill equipped , alleged small terror groups with the full might his forces , yet the most powerful armed forces coalition should be weary ? I'am impressed with the Jones Town reference ,the leader of which share many similarities to those leaders you seem quite ambivilent about.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-24 14:41

      @ allcoveredinNinjas Again, your comment is irrelevant. Quite frankly, what planet do you inhabit? Do you imagine that any 2 countries on this globe are the same? So, why do you rant on and on about how different these Middle Eastern countries are from each other? Your comment is pointless - the kind of ranting that one expects from some European who has suddenly discovered that not all African countries are the same! The fact remains, the Arab League is full of despots who have no business calling for Assad to go until they vacate their own positions. That you can't grasp this or seem to try to downplay this, is silly. Furthermore, you are also guilty of assuming that Syria is like Libya (which by the way still required Western ops on the ground). You also clearly have no clue as to how Putin views Syria - it isn't Libya. Some more education: Assad has a network of terrorist groups he supports financially and through arms supply - he isn't Gadaffi. Further, which jittery Muslim despot is readily going to agree to give Nato right of passage to Syria or "fly over rights"? Lebanon (with Hezbollah)? Again, mere posturing from you. Nato can barely deal with a bunch of villagers in Afghanistan and Iraq and now you imagine they will be champions in Syria! That's delusional... Sanctions against Iran...You call that action! Has that deterred Iran from financing every terrorist group it can find? Has it deterred Iran from its alleged nuclear plans? It's done jack.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-07-24 17:02

      Ok ,I have no idea what you are on about which makes it hard to mean to you. You seem to claim that you can use the same policies with all these countries and leaders thats why I emphasized that these are different places and as such you cannot use the exact same policies for all, despite your bigoted attempt at a insult, I thought that fairly clear. You simply cannot expect every despot to vacate office without large scale support from the people,a point at which you contradict yourself in support of Assad. There is a a notion of tact . This brings me to Iran , sanctions and the IAEA have done a lot to, at the very least delay their nuclear weapons program for some time and allow for political pressure and reform to be placed on them both a internationaly and domesticly. I don't know when you think i mentioned Libya and likening it to Syria would contradict my original point. On your additional education , Assads network I agreed with earlier so redundent ,apart from Gaddafi who did supply arms and finances to terrorists. I don't think finding a flight path to Syria would be hard to find should they even need it. A quick look at a map will tell you that. Just work out what you are for or against,your argument seems riddled with contradictions and inaccuracies which is fairly ironic considering the rather ambitious claim of elite knowledge over the 'obama-kool aid' drinking West.

      psalm.proverb.3 - 2012-07-26 10:24

      @ allcoveredinNinjas I really tried to read your comment in full - but it appears to be nonsense. I gave up. As you whine and attempt to look like you know what is going on in Syria, here's a newsflash: reports are that Russia is moving its warships near Syria. Another newsflash: Iran has warned the "Hated Arabs", it will retaliate. Those sanctions are hardly deterring Iran. Newsflash: Nato pilots may require places to refuel during the Nato attack you salivate over. Furthermore, here is another lesson - a foreign plane CANNOT fly into the airspace of another state without PERMISSION. You cannot invade another state's airspace. Nato MAY NEED TO FLY OVER FOREIGN AIRSPACE TO ATTACK SYRIA. There is not even any guarantee that Turkey will entertain such a request. Why are you commenting when you are clearly this clueless???

  • bradley.kecskes - 2012-07-24 11:15

    Talk all you want...fact is satellites are in position and waiting. See what I did there(-: conspiracy much...

  • luyolo.mhlauli.9 - 2012-07-24 19:35

    WMD story Iraq all over again. I can still remember watching Collins Powell on CNN lying about trucks carrying WMDs. He did admit it was all lies.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-07-24 19:56

      He did not admit "it was all lies". He said in his opinion there was too much conjecture built into the reasoning. Apart from that, everyone knows Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. He used them against the Iraqi Kurds, killing thousands of families. He also used them in his war against Iran, in which 1,000,000 Iranians died.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-07-24 20:07

      Luloyo, Never mind what Colin Powell said, Don't confuse your mind !! Listen to what the Syrian population says, than maybe you will understand the Syria issue !

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