As the conflict between the Syrian government and local rebels continues, the Syrian government has moved some of its chemical weapons to possibly strategic locations, however, it is unclear if they are preparing to use them in the fighting or if they are simply moving stockpiles around.  In response to the movement of the weapons, the United States and other allies sent over another warning to President Bashar al-Asad, that if he uses these weapons or fails to keep them secure, then oustide nations will intervene directly with military forces.  If this happens, the allied nations, ours included, have contingency plans to neutralize the chemical weapons threat, although our troops have not been raised to high alert yet.  The Pentagon believes that it would take more than 75,000 troops to carry out this task.  Politically, the United States has remained neutral by not arming the insurgent groups and not formally recognizing the opposition forces.  An Israeli official says that Assad is probably bluffing to warn the allied coalition as the debates continued over possible direct involvement.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/03/world/middleeast/syria-moves-its-chemical-weapons-and-gets-another-warning.html?hp
 


Comments

Katie Hill
12/06/2012 10:42am

I hope that the Assads are just bluffing but there has been an unusually high amount of chemical weapon movement in Syria just in the past few months. I also heard that the president of Syria is being vague about what his intentions are regarding the chemical weapons which is a red-flag for the U.S. The United States and President Obama should hope for the best but prepare for the worst. At this point, staying neutral is in our best interest but maybe increasing surveillance would be a good idea.

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Jay Burgin
12/07/2012 2:37pm

The three main chemical weapons that the Syrians are believed to have are sarin, mustard, and VX nerve gas.
Sarin is an odorless nerve agent that can cause convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. It also quickly evaporates and disperses into the environment, easily contaminating water also.
Mustard gas was used in World War 1 and leaves burns on the skin, eyes, and lungs. It can also cause blindness or cancer.
VX gas causes the same results of sarin gas, but it is much more potent. Only a few drops of VX can cause the same symptoms as sarin gas.
In 1988, Iraqi fighters dropped Sarin gas on the Kurdish town of Halabja after it fell into the hands of rebels. The gas bombs killed 5,000 people instantly.

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