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`Al Qaeda could access Syria`s chemical weapons`

Last Updated: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 18:23

Damascus: Jordan`s King Abdullah has expressed concern that Syria is spinning out of control and warned that al Qaeda could get its hands on some of the regime’s chemical weapons.

“Our information is that there is a presence of al Qaeda in certain regions inside Syria, and has been there for a while,” he told CNN.

“And, again, one of the worst-case scenarios ... would be if some of those chemical stockpiles were to fall into unfriendly hands,” he added.

King Abdullah, who opposes international military action in Syria, said that if President Bashar al-Assad were to make the ‘tremendous miscalculation’ of turning chemical weapons on his own population, there could be a response.

He pointed out that such weapons were to fall into the hands of rebel forces, some of which he said are unknown quantities, then even reluctant UN members like Russia might support some kind of international action, reports.

According to the report, King Abdullah remained hesitant to arm the Syrian opposition.

“As it comes to chemical weapons falling into rebel hands, I think at the end of the day all of us would suffer from that. I`m sure they would be very accepting of international actions,” he said.

“But we want to make sure if you`re going to send weapons ... it goes into the right hands and doesn`t end up as I alluded to earlier on in the hands of groups like al Qaeda,” he added.

Damascus is believed to possess one of the largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the Middle East.

Earlier, the US had also raised concerns over reports suggesting that Syria is moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities.


First Published: Thursday, July 19, 2012 - 18:23

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