Syria General says Assad won’t give up chemical stockpile
Zee Media Bureau
Damascus: Even as international experts on the mission to exempt Syria of its banned weapons arsenal arrived in Damascus, a defected General poured cold water on the hopes of disarmament by saying that President Bashar al-Assad will never part with the chemical stockpile, a report said.
According to the CNN, Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who had defected from the Syrian military after he was ordered to use chemical agents, said that Assad would seek to fool the inspectors by giving them access to, only the scientific research centres and not the clandestine locations of the chemical stockpile.
Syria is supposed to have a 1000-ton stock of deadly chemical agents like Sarin, mustard gas and other lethal gases.
Speaking to the CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, the Syrian General said, “The locations of most of the scientific research centers in Syria and the storage facilities are known and under surveillance, thus, he will give up those centers and facilities for sure without lying. That said, however, Bashar al-Assad will not give up the chemical stockpile".
General Al-Sakat said that he defected from the Army as he was forced to use chemical weapons but he succeeded in fooling the commanders by swapping the chemicals out for something non-toxic, reports said.
The General’s comment come as a team of international chemical weapons inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OCPW) arrived in Damascus on Tuesdayand are set to access all facilities of chemical arms within a month.
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Tuesday that the inspectors are focusing on the initial planning phase of helping the embattled country destroy its chemical weapons production facilities.
The team of 20 inspectors from The Hague-based Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is implementing a UN resolution ordering the elimination of Syria`s arsenal.
The operation to rid Syria of chemical weapons by a target date of mid-2014 will be one of the largest and most dangerous of its kind as it is the first time that the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) has been asked to destroy a country`s chemical arms during a war.
Syria chemical weapons issue created a furore in the international community when August 21 chemical attack, according to the US claimed 1429 lives, and was orchestrated by the regime.
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