Syria threatens WMD use
Regime says it has biological and chemical weapons in the event of foreign invasion.
Another sign of the end for the regime of Bashar Assad came Monday when a regime official announced that Syria would deploy weapons of mass destruction in the event of a foreign invasion. Syria has never before acknowledged that it has such weapons.
A Scud missile, which can be used to deliver chemical or biological weapons.
A state spokesman identified as Jihad Makdissi, said on television, "No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria no matter what the developments inside Syria. All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression."
The issue for most however, if the use of the term "external aggression." The Syrian government has repeatedly said that terrorists, including Al Qaeda, supported by foreign governments, including the United States, are joining rebels. Does this constitute an "external threat?"
While Syrian military technology is relatively outmoded when compared to modern military equipment, it is still capable. Syria is thought to have both nerve and mustard gas in its arsenal. Nerve agents attack the nervous system causing convulsions, parylasis, and death while mustard gas, first deployed during World War I, can cause serious burns to the skin, eyes, and lungs. Syria can deploy these weapons using Scud missiles, and possibly via artillery.
Thanks to arms deals made with the Russian government, The regime also has access to fighter aircraft and, modern anti-aircraft missiles.
While the commentary is alarming, it should be expected. Assad's regime has come under the worst stress since the Syrian Arab Spring revolution started in March, 2011. Last week saw a suicide bombing that took the life of several of Assad's top aides, including his brother-in-law.
The message is likely motivated by fear and desperation.
It is unknown how much time Assad has, but there is an increasing recognition that his regime will not now survive the current uprising which has officially become a civil war.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: Syria, WMD, chemical, biological, invasion, Assad
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