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News & Current Events Discuss Syria and WMDs at the General Forum; What is Assad Up To? The Syrian regime's chemical warfare option, though capable of severely weakening rebel forces, will not ...

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Old 12-09-2012, 01:10 AM
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Default Syria and WMDs

What is Assad Up To?

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The Syrian regime's chemical warfare option, though capable of severely weakening rebel forces, will not solve the regime's problems. Syrian President Bashar al Assad's forces are depleted, beleaguered and in many instances isolated from the chemical weapons network. A serious logistical and command and control effort would be required for the mass deployment of chemical weapons -- an effort that may already be beyond the regime's current capabilities.

Syria is believed to have a large chemical weapons program, and there is a growing international concern that the regime may use these weapons against the rebels. On Dec. 5, U.S. officials said the Syrian military has loaded the precursor chemicals for deadly sarin nerve gas into aerial munitions. But these munitions have yet to be loaded onto Syrian military aircraft, and it is believed that the order to utilize these weapons has not been issued.

However, the regime's use of these weapons would be extremely susceptible to discovery and exposure by ongoing international intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. Thus it nearly guarantees a foreign intervention in which the United States would play a key role despite its hesitancy to become deeply involved in the Syrian conflict. Aware of the United States' position, the al Assad regime's preparation of sarin precursors could be an attempt to gain leverage in negotiations over amnesty for the top leadership, as well as an attempt to deter increased support for the rebels. The United States could also hope to draw any remaining support away from the Syrian regime by portraying al Assad as desperate enough to resort to chemical weapons.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

I always thought that is where Saddam stored his WMDs.
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Old 12-09-2012, 07:39 PM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

What's scary about Assad is he is backed into a corner with virtually no means of survival. I could see him using chemical weapons
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Old 12-09-2012, 08:30 PM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

Sources: Defense contractors training Syrian rebels in chemical weapons – CNN Security Clearance - CNN.com Blogs


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The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday.

The training, which is taking place in Jordan and Turkey, involves how to monitor and secure stockpiles and handle weapons sites and materials, according to the sources. Some of the contractors are on the ground in Syria working with the rebels to monitor some of the sites, according to one of the officials.

The nationality of the trainers was not disclosed, though the officials cautioned against assuming all are American.
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One of the aims, the sources said, is to try to get real time surveillance of the sites because the international community would not have time to prevent the use of the weapons otherwise. The program could explain how U.S. intelligence was able to learn what U.S. officials said was evidence the Assad government is mixing precursors for chemical weapons and loading those compounds into bombs. The intelligence, one U.S. official told CNN last week, came not just from satellite surveillance, but also from information provided by people. The official would not say whether the human intelligence came from telephone intercepts, defectors or people inside Syria.

The U.S. military is also working with neighboring Jordan's military to train for the potential need to secure chemical weapons sites. But U.S. troops cannot train rebel forces because the United States has only authorized nonlethal aid for the opposition.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

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I always thought that is where Saddam stored his WMDs.
A possibility at one time that has been pretty much proved without merit.
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:14 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

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Originally Posted by Coyote View Post
What's scary about Assad is he is backed into a corner with virtually no means of survival. I could see him using chemical weapons
If you read the article it shows why this is a remote possibility as it goes into the logistics required, the weather conditions necessary, the resources he lacks and the effects (if any on the ground) it would have (or lack of) verses the international action.

Assad still has a few loyal supporters and, obviously a few military units under the direction of those loyal to him. Those supporters may be true supporters which I doubt but for most, their ass is toast should the rebels take over hence, they will die supporting him as their lives are tied in with his.

Similarly, his options for escape are near nill as even if he wanted to, those supporters would probably kill him as his defection would mean their end.

So, would an attack on a group of rebels, with probable minimal effects benefit any of those supporters who would hope to somehow make a peace with any of the rebels?

And, given the possibility of international intervention should they make any more preparations to use those WMDs, that is a point there is no coming back from. Unless of course, to feign using them to garner an invading force from say .... a coalition of some kind to claim an Islamic Jihad against some 'crusaders.'
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Old 12-10-2012, 01:16 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

Good read!
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:37 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

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Originally Posted by Leanworks View Post
A possibility at one time that has been pretty much proved without merit.
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Shortly before the war, it was reported that U.S. satellites spotted truck convoys moving from Iraq to Syria at night. One possible explanation is that Saddam had WMD and removed them before the war. Various reports claim that the Russians helped move convoys and planeloads of materials from Iraq into Syria to at least three heavily guarded locations, identified, at least two years ago, by Debka.com and other news sources.
Archived-Articles: Don't Be So Sure There Were No WMD in Iraq
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:43 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

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Originally Posted by Leanworks View Post
A possibility at one time that has been pretty much proved without merit.
Yes I figured-don't remember why now -at the time wmds were moved around and eventually westerners secured the bulk of them but didnt reveal that for some strategic reason.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:07 AM
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Default Re: Syria and WMDs

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Originally Posted by Leanworks View Post
A possibility at one time that has been pretty much proved without merit.
Not so fast. We know that Iraq had WMDs, that's undeniable since they used them repeatedly against the Iranians and at least once against the Kurds. The question is one of what ever became of them. There was a massive explosion at a weapons depot on Syria's eastern border (conveniently located at the end of a known smuggling route from Iraq to Syria) that was minimally reported by the media. IMO (and a lot of military experts as well), that explosion was most likely the work of Mossad agents using US intel. We didn't want the world to know that we were involved in an action like this against a nation that we weren't at war with and Syria didn't want to admit that they got infiltrated and these weapons destroyed. So the whole thing got downplayed and it was "just an accidental explosion of a few muntitions".
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