Damascus: Western troops could intervene in Syria if the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s government leaves stockpiles of his chemical weapons vulnerable to terrorists, sources have revealed.
Syria possesses hundreds of tons of VX, Sarin and mustard gas. Western governments are concerned about the security of these munitions if the Assad regime falls or loses control over relevant sites.
“The thing that privately has got people very worried is chemical weapon stocks,” The Telegraph quoted a diplomat, as saying.
“Were it to be the case that the regime did start to lose control of the security environment, and it looked as though it wasn’t able to secure those sites, then that would be a game-changer,” the diplomat added.
The diplomat said that the current 14-month uprising probably does not pose an "existential threat" to the regime.
But if that changed, the international community would have to avert the threat of chemical weapons falling in dangerous hands, the diplomat added.
According to the paper, al Qaeda is understood to have moved operatives into Syria from neighbouring Iraq.
Hezbollah, the Shi’ite extremist group, has a longstanding presence in Syria and a close alliance with Assad.
The diplomat stressed that they ‘could not tolerate the possibility of some of that stuff falling into the wrong hands.’ said the diplomat.
“This uprising is not an existential threat to the Assad cartel, but if it was the case that they were starting to lose the plot and it looked as if their ability to secure those materials was questionable, then I think you`d see more very serious worries coming out of the Security Council,” the paper quoted the diplomat, as saying.