April 28, 2013
A former army general who defected from the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and joined the rebel forces claims he received orders to use chemical weapons in Syria’s south.
Zahir al-Sakit says he was told to use the weapons against rebels and civilians in Busra al-Harir, located around 90 Kilometers south of Damascus in Deraa province, southern Syria.
Al-Sakit, who was interviewed on Syria’s Al-Arabiya channel, claimed he instructed his soldiers to use a harmless liquid substance instead.
Al-Sakit defected to the rebel forces on March 15, and in a video he made for the occasion with his son – also an officer in the Syrian army – he did not refer to the incident. This fact, together with the timing of the statement and it’s airing on a channel known for its anti-Assad stance, raises questions as to the veracity of the claims.