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Sunday, December 09, 2012

Iran to use chemical weapons on Assad's behalf?

A report in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards will use chemical weapons on Assad's behalf when and if it is deemed necessary, and that the Guards and not Assad will make that decision.
The Iraqi Sadrist leader said the Syrian regime’s political military and security factions have become more desperate as rebel forces converge on Damascus, and therefore the regime won’t hesitate to use “any weapon” against the opposition, Al-Seyassah reported.
This faction, led by Gen. Ali Mamlouk, Assad’s special security adviser and former head of the General Security Directorate (GID); his deputy Gen. Abdel-Fateh Qudsiya; current GID chief Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Dib Zaitoun; military intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Rafiq Shahada; and Gen. Rustum Ghazali, the head of the Political Security Directorate, believe such a move could help quash the uprising once and for all.
The majority of Syria’s military leaders and the Defense Ministry have warned, however, that if the army itself resorts to chemical weapons against the rebels, that move may result to the armed forces’ “complete disintegration,” since while the army does not really oppose the use of such weapons, it does not want to be directly involved in using them against the Syrian opposition, the source told Al-Seyassah.
Mamlouk, Qudsiya and Zaitoun have proposed that special units of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, rather than the Syrian Army, be asked to carry out security leaders’ orders to use chemical weapons, the source said.

...

According to Al-Seyassah, its Iraqi source said that Iran has discussed the use of chemical weapons with Moscow, and Tehran supports their use “widely and extensively.”
Moscow believes the Syrian regime could resort to limited use of chemical weapons as a deterrence if it were forced to act to stop Damascus from falling into the hands of the armed opposition, especially in the suburbs of Douma, Moadamiyeh, Zamalka and Kafr Batna, where intelligence shows there are more armed groups including those affiliated with the Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat al-Nusra), the source said.
The Al-Nusra Front is an al-Qaida-affiliated Sunni jihadist paramilitary group, which has claimed responsibility for several suicide bombings including in Damascus and Aleppo. The US is moving to designate the group as a foreign terrorist organization because of its links to al-Qaida.
According to Al-Seyassah, its source said Assad’s inner circle could well decide to use chemical weapons only in a limited initial operation, but that use could be expanded depending on the circumstances and results.
Read the whole thing.

Hope the wind isn't blowing our way, because one way or the other, I think that Assad or someone acting on his behalf will use chemical weapons to try to put down the rebellion. And I don't think it will work. 

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