US, UK plan to capture or destroy Syrian WMD

Sydney Morning Herald:
British and American military commanders have drawn up plans to seize or destroy Syria's chemical weapons if the country slides into further chaos.

They fear that nerve agents and chemical weapons held by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad's regime may fall into terrorists' hands if the government collapses.

Senior officers have also held talks on a range of "rogue state" contingency plans to prevent chemical, biological or nuclear weapons from being seized by terrorists, which they fear could also happen if Pakistan or North Korea's regimes were to fall.

Iran, which according to one senior British source is "bent on developing nuclear weapons", is also causing great concern to Western governments. British intelligence believes that Syria has amassed an extensive arsenal of weapons of mass destruction , including nerve agents such as Sarin, and mustard gas.

They have not been used and are considered to be well guarded by Syrian security forces. But militant Islamist groups are inside Syria fighting against the government and would be perfectly placed to raid stockpiles, intelligence sources have said.

They said the most likely option to prevent the weapons falling into the hands of extremists would be to destroy stockpiles with air strikes.

The added value to destroying the weapons is that it would send a message to other rogue states that it is better to cut a deal than to bet on those weapons buying you protection from a strike.


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