Global efforts work to stop Assad from using chemical weapons in Syria (Opinion)
Linkedin

Global efforts work to stop Assad from using chemical weapons in Syria (Opinion)

Damascus : Syria | Jan 10, 2013 at 8:53 AM PST
XX XX
Views: Pending
 
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (left) meets with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus

Although major world powers have been unable to resolve the civil war in Syria, the news of Assad’s regime preparing to use chemical weapons has triggered unprecedented international coöperation to contain the threat.

Since November, Israel's military intelligence has been warning that Syrian troops are apparently mixing chemicals at two storage sites; what appeared to be deadly nerve gas Sarin, and filling dozens of 500-pounds bombs that could be loaded on airplanes.

According to a report in the New York Times, in early November, concerted diplomatic pressure from the US, Russia, China and a strong message from Iraq, Turkey and United States to Bashar al-Assad’s regime prevented the war in Syria turning into a chemical warfare.

However, with the Syrian rebels closing in on Damascus and the war reaching an increasingly devastating stage, there is an apprehension that Assad may resort to use of chemical weapons to prolong his hold over Syria.

Apparently, Syria’s chemical weapons are under the command of the Assad’s most loyal officers. And with the war closing in on Damascus, there are indications that Assad’s troops have relocated some of the chemical stockpiles to safer locations.

With the war tilting in favor of the Syrian coalition, world leaders are troubled on the possibility that Assad might think of using Sarin to gas his enemies in an act of desperation.

According to a report, Syrian regime has chemical weapons that could be used within two hours. The bombs loaded with chemical weapons could be airborne within two hours with a green signal from Assad. However, world leaders could think on the possibility of helping the Syrian rebels destroy the Syrian air force, without which Assad cannot carry out the chemical warfare.

Apart from the presence of chemical stockpile in Assad’s hands, there is an additional concern regarding the possibility of Syrian extremist acquiring the chemical weapons. If the Hezbollah manages to get a hand on the weapons, there would be renewed fear that the stockpile would be used against Israel.

With all these concerns, it is still unclear how the United States, Israel, and the Arab states would respond to this crisis if the Assad’s regime happens to lose control of its chemical weapons. Also, there are no indications of the presence of a contingency plan to intervene in Syria if the need arises to neutralize the chemical weapons.

Earlier in November, the world leaders through Russia’s intervention managed to convince Assad’s regime not to use the chemical stockpile. The solution was obviously a diplomatic one. But, with the continuing war indicating a military solution, there is no surety that Assad won’t lose his rationality and order his generals to press the chemical button. In summation, the worst fears are not yet over for the world.

In such a scenario, the world needs to act in unison to deal with the crisis The threat of chemical warfare in Syria remains the most contentious issue in the Syrian civil war.

The situation demands a coordinated groundwork by the United States, Europe and the Arab nations to deter the use of deadly chemical weapons. There is an urgent need to monitor where and how the weapons are being stored and the readiness to secure the weapons once Assad’s regime falls.
Sources:

The New York Times

The Telegraph

1 of 8
Next
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) meets with peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi in Damascus
aymaan30 is based in New Delhi, Delhi, India, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
Report Credibility
 
  • Clear
  • Share:
  • Share
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
  • Clear
 
 
 
Advertisement
 

News Stories

 
  • Panetta: US focused on Syria's chemical arms after Assad

      Yedioth Ahronoth
    Breaking News The United States is increasingly focused on how to secure Syria's chemical weapons if President Bashar Assad falls from power but is not considering sending ground troops into the war-torn country, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said...
  • US focused on Syria's chemical arms after Assad: Panetta

    The United States is increasingly focused on how to secure Syria's chemical weapons if President Bashar al-Assad falls from power, Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said Thursday. Panetta said he would not consider sending ground troops into the war-...
  • Israel reportedly told Pentagon about Syria poison gas

    Israel's warning to the United States at the end of November, involving intelligence showing up on satellite imagery, brought together the U.S., Arab states, Russia and China to deal with Syria's deadly civil war, the New York Times reported Jan. 8.
  • Assad still confident that he can control Syria

      Washington Post
    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains confident that he can ride out the maelstrom engulfing his country, casting into doubt prospects that intensified efforts to negotiate an end to the bloodshed can succeed, according to Syrians familiar with...
  • EU states urge the UN to refer Syria to the ICC

      Jerusalem Post
    FMs of Austria, Denmark, Ireland and Slovenia bemoan the fact perpetrators of "horrendous crimes" committed during the Syria conflict haven't been put on trial, cite attack on UN peacekeepers in Golan as reason to take action. Michael Kooren Four EU...
  • U.S. willing to help Damascus secure WMD

      The Daily Star
    The United States has largely ruled out sending in ground troops to secure Syrian chemical weapons under hostile circumstances, but the Pentagon could provide some forces if the Assad regime ever agrees to a peaceful transition, Defense Secretary...

Images

 >
 

More From Allvoices

Related People

Report Your News Got a similar story?
Add it to the network!

Or add related content to this report



Use of this site is governed by our Terms of Use Agreement and Privacy Policy.

© Allvoices, Inc. 2008-2014. All rights reserved. Powered by PulsePoint.