Leon Panetta
Photo: AFP

Panetta: Syria moved some chemical weapons to boost security

US defense secretary says intelligence indicates Syria's main WMD arsenal still secure, under government control

The Syrians have moved some of their chemical weapons capability to better secure it, but the country's main chemical weapons sites remain intact and secure under government control, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Friday, citing US intelligence.


"There has been some intelligence that with regards to some of these sites that there has been some movement in order for the Syrians to better secure… the chemicals," Panetta told a Pentagon news conference.


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"So while there's been some limited movement, again the major sites still remain in place, still remain secure."


Panetta said that he does not have enough information to confirm if any of the moves suggest that some of the material has been acquired by the opposition forces battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad.


The United States and Israel have both expressed concern that Syria's chemical weapons arsenal – considered the largest in the world – would be compromised and wind up in terrorist hands, including those of Hezbollah.


Opposition forces have also expressed concern that the embattled regime will use its unconventional weapons, which include Sarin and mustard gas, on rebel forces and civilian population.


In August, rebel forces claimed that the Assad regime used "mass-killing thermobaric weapons" on civilians in Aleppo.



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פרסום ראשון: 09.28.12, 17:15
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