US, Turkey plan to deal with worst-case scenarios
Istanbul: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have said that their countries are creating a formal structure to plan for the worst-case scenarios in Syria, including a possible chemical weapons attack on the regime’s opponents.
Hillary and Davutoglu said their countries would set up a working group to respond to the crisis in Syria as conditions in the country deteriorate.
They said the group would coordinate military, intelligence and political responses to the potential fallout in the case of a chemical attack, which would result in medical emergencies and a likely rise in the number of refugees fleeing Syria.
"We have been closely coordinating over the course of this conflict, but now we need to get into the real details of such operational planning.
It needs to be across both of our governments," News 24 quoted Hillary, as saying.
She said the US State Department and Turkey’s foreign ministry had already been working together on the issue, but that the new working group would increase the involvement of the intelligence services and militaries of both countries.
"What would that mean in terms of response, humanitarian and medical emergency assistance and, of course, what needs to be done to secure those stocks from ever being used or falling into the wrong hands?" Hillary said.
In July, Syria's foreign ministry spokesperson threatened the use of chemical and biological weapons in case of a foreign attack, assuring that government would never use them against its own citizens. It was the first acknowledgement that Syria possesses weapons of mass destruction, something that's long been suspected.