US worried as Syria starts relocating chemical weapons stockpiles
Damascus, July 13 (ANI): The United States has raised concerns over Syria moving parts of its vast arsenal of chemical weapons out of storage facilities.
Syria's undeclared stockpiles of the Sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide has left American officials and their allies in the region worried.
According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. officials are divided on the meaning of the latest moves by the Bashar al-Assad regime.
Some fear Damascus intends to use the weapons against the rebels or civilians, potentially as part of a targeted ethnic cleansing campaign.
Others believe Assad might be trying to safeguard the material from his opponents, or to complicate Western powers' efforts to track the weapons.
According to a U.S. official, evidence of chemical weapons coming into play could escalate the conflict in Syria.
"This could set the precedent of WMD [weapons of mass destruction] being used under our watch. This is incredibly dangerous to our national security," the paper quoted the official, as saying.
According to the paper, the Obama administration has begun to hold classified briefings about the new intelligence.
American officials are particularly worried about the stocks of Sarin gas, the deadly and versatile nerve agent.
Damascus is believed to possess one of the largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons in the Middle East.
Syria never signed the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention, the arms-control agreement that outlaws the production, stockpiling and use of such weapons. (ANI)
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