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article imageOp-Ed: Syria warns rebels may use chemical weapons

By Katerina Nikolas     Dec 9, 2012 in World
The hype regarding chemical weapons in Syria, promoted by war hungry Western leaders with their own Syrian agenda, is an all too familiar refrain, echoing weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
The more likely scenario is that terrorist groups in Syria, comprising foreign Islamic extremists with terrorist links, have both access to chemical weapons and the intention to use them. Al Arabiya reported Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said: "Terrorist groups may resort to using chemical weapons against the Syrian people... after having gained control of a toxic chlorine factory."
Veteran reporter Robert Fisk was in Hama when Hafez al-Assad was killing his own people. He stated in the Independent that no chemical weapons were used at that time, despite media reports to the contrary. In reference to the current claims that Assad junior may use chemical weapons, Fisk opines: "the usual pseudo-experts who couldn’t find Syria on a map have been warning us again of the mustard gas, chemical agents, biological agents that Syria might possess – and might use. And the sources? The same fantasy specialists who didn’t warn us about 9/11 but insisted that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction in 2003: 'unnamed military intelligence sources'”.
In June Digital Journal reported Syrian rebels aimed to use chemical weapons and then pin the blame on the Assad regime. Rebel fighters have taken possession of chemical weapons from Libya.
Last year al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) claimed it had acquired weapons of mass destruction and surface-to-air missiles from Libya. This report claims "high-ranking rebel officers in Benghazi were trying to sell the Libyan mustard and nerve gas they had captured to whomever would pay top dollar."
While AQIM primarily operates within North Africa and the Sahara it has links to other terrorist groups. The group was associated with the former Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) led by Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who was one of the Libyans training foreign Salafist fighters on the Turkish-Syrian border in January this year. The Wahhabi forces were funded by U.S. ally Qatar.
Charles Blair, an analyst for the Federation of American Scientists, warns that some of the terrorist groups operating in Syria "possess the operational capabilities to competently control various quantities of deadly chemical agents." (Foreign Policy) Saying it is possible that chemical weapons may fall into the hands of militant factions fighting against the Assad regime, Blair writes: The United States is right to worry about Syria's chemical weapons -- it may just be worried about them for the wrong reason."
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Al Nursa Front, Chemical weapons, Syrian Islamists, Foreign fighters
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