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State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs

Posted By admin On February 25, 2012 @ 4:06 am In Featured Stories | Comments Disabled

Josh Rogin
Foreign Policy [1]
February 25, 2012

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria’s neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad’s extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.

Syria is believed to have [2] a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.

The State Department declined to provide access to any officials to discuss the private diplomatic communication on the record, such as the author of the demarche Assistant Secretary of State for International Security and Nonproliferation Tom Countryman [3]. In a meeting with reporters [4]earlier this year, Countryman expressed confidence that the United States knows where Syria’s WMD stockpiles are, but warned that they could become a very serious security issue for Syria and the region going forward.

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] Foreign Policy: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/24/exclusive_state_department_quietly_warning_region_on_syrian_wmds

[2] believed to have: http://csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/080602_syrianwmd.pdf

[3] Tom Countryman: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/biog/174947.htm

[4] meeting with reporters: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2012/02/15/state_dept_russia_and_iran_still_arming_bashar_al_assad

[5] State Department Uses ‘Nuclear Option’ Propaganda to Justify More Preemptive War: http://www.prisonplanet.com/state-department-uses-nuclear-option-propaganda-to-justify-more-preemptive-war.html

[6] Syrian ‘Opposition’ Groups Funded By U.S. State Department: http://www.prisonplanet.com/syrian-opposition-groups-funded-by-u-s-state-department.html

[7] State Dept.: Russia and Iran still arming Bashar al-Assad: http://www.prisonplanet.com/state-dept-russia-and-iran-still-arming-bashar-al-assad.html

[8] Oren: Israel will act if Hezbollah gets Syrian WMDs: http://www.prisonplanet.com/oren-israel-will-act-if-hezbollah-gets-syrian-wmds.html

[9] Cables Reveal State Department, CIA NGOs Fomented Syrian Unrest: http://www.prisonplanet.com/cables-reveal-state-department-cia-ngos-fomented-syrian-unrest.html

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