US Secretly Planning Moves Against Syrian Chemical Weapons

Officials Say Assad's WMDs 'In Play'

by Jason Ditz, February 24, 2012

The State Department is engaged in secret talks with a number of other nations related to Syria’s stockpile of chemical weapons, and the possibility of making a move to seize them in the near future.

The State Department declined to comment directly on the talks, but said that Syria’s arsenal “undermines peace and security in the Middle East,” demanding that the Assad government join the Chemical Weapons Convention and destroy their stockpile.

Off the record, officials confirmed that the Syrian arsenal is “in play,” saying that the very existence of it proves Assad is a threat to US interests in the region, and that Assad might theoretically use the weapons during the civil war.

The later allegation has been a common one over the past few weeks, with officials repeatedly speculating that a chemical weapon attack on Homs is imminent. There is no evidence that such attacks have even been considered, and the clashes continue to be entirely conventional in nature. The threat that some faction in the Western-backed opposition might gain control of them might be even more serious, particularly with groups like al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) joining them.

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