December 6th, 2012
12:55 AM ET

Report: Syria readying chemical weapons

According to an NBC report, the Syrian military is loading chemical weapons inside bombs, awaiting final orders from President Bashar al-Assad to use them against its own people.
CNN has not confirmed this report.

CNN Contributor Robert Baer describes the possible weapons as highly toxic, explaining, "its absolutely completely deadly...if in fact they've mixed the sarin...it doesn't do you any good to bomb these sites because it will just disperse the chemicals all around, and if they are sitting in cities or near cities it will have the same amount of damage, so we are faced with a terrible dilemma."

CNN Contributor Fran Townsend explains the challenges for the White House in preparing plans using coordinated, current real-time intelligence to understand and address the immediate threat in order to present possible military options.

CNN's Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr explains the possible threat as 'catastrophic' because "...the plume clouds if you will, can cross borders, terrorists could get a hold of this kind of material if it’s now out of secure locations and take it across borders into Israel, Jordan, or Turkey. It just doesn't get more serious than this."

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Filed under: Barbara Starr • Fran Townsend • Robert Baer • Syria
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Ed Manley

    This shows the stupidity of passive diplomatic defense. Once they have developed these weapons they are in charge, Now that they have weaponized them there's nothing we can do about it but make useless statements about 'red lines'. The only defense is to stop the development at the source. When we hear about research and development, wipe it out. Do not let your mortal enemy build weapons that you cannot defend against. Our handling of the biological and nuclear threat has been absurd... we allowed them to be built, now there's no way to stop their use.

    December 6, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  2. John in WNY

    Tough spot, but the US should simply make it clear to al-Assad that if he uses chemical weapons that we will wipe out Syria's remaining military forces as well as all command and control including himself.

    December 6, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  3. Marco

    This is going to be the final straw. If the Syrian government moves forward with this, they better expect an immediate, all out retaliation from the rest of the world from which they will not recover...

    Perhaps this is something that should have been done 22 months ago...

    December 6, 2012 at 3:27 am |
  4. Name*Helen Kraft

    Liquid nitrogen to freeze below _30? Satin to neutralize toxin

    December 6, 2012 at 3:12 am |
  5. Joseph(Nigeria)

    The world is waiting for total ethinic cleansing before they rise to the defence of Syrian people. This is hypocrisy.

    December 6, 2012 at 2:14 am |