From Bad To Worse: Syria Combining Chemicals For Sarin Nerve Gas
12/03/2012Reblogged from: http://midnightwatcher.wordpress.com/
If Assad decides to use chemical weapons (which appears increasingly likely), will he decide to use them upon the rebels who are all but certain to soon topple his regime? Will he opt to use them against Israel as a last “hurrah” before fleeing in order to invoke a devastating Israeli response upon the rebel’s grand prize of Damascus? Both? …
By Elad Benari, INN – “Engineers working for President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime in Syria have begun combining the two chemical precursors needed to weaponize sarin gas, an American official with knowledge of the situation told Wired.com’s Danger Room on Monday.
International observers are now more worried than they’ve even been that the Damascus government could use its nerve agent stockpile to slaughter its own people, the report said.
The U.S. doesn’t know why the Syrian military made the move, which began in the middle of last week and is taking place in central Syria, nor are they sure why the Assad government is transferring some weapons to different locations within the country, as the New York Times reported on Monday.
‘Physically, they’ve gotten to the point where they can load it up on a plane and drop it,’ the official told Wired.com.
Sarin gas has two main chemical components: isopropanol, popularly known as rubbing alcohol, and methylphosphonyl difluoride. The Assad government has more than 500 metric tons of these precursors, which it ordinarily stores separately, in so-called ‘binary’ form, in order to prevent an accidental release of nerve gas.
Last week, reported Wired.com, that changed. The Syrian military began combining some of the binaries. ‘They didn’t do it on the whole arsenal, just a modest quantity,’ the official said. ‘We’re not sure what’s the intent.’
Back in July, the Assad regime publicly warned that it might use its chemical weapons to stop ‘external’ forces from interfering in Syria’s bloody civil war. The announcement sparked a panic in the intelligence services of the U.S. and its allies, which stepped up their efforts to block shipments of precursors for those weapons from entering the country.
‘This is a more serious moment than July,’ the official said.” Read more.
Flashback: Syria’s FM Says Israel is Leading ‘The Plot to Bring Down Assad’ – “Syria’s foreign minister on Sunday blamed Israel for the uprising against President Bashar Assad’s regime. ‘The Zionist regime is at the forefront of the plot to bring down the Syrian government and to destabilize the country,’ said Walid Muallem, speaking at a joint press conference in Tehran on Sunday afternoon with Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. Israel’s stance on Syria is proof of an international plot against Assad’s regime, Salehi added. Apart from Israel, Muallem accused Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar of conspiring against Syrians.” Read more.