Syria has acknowledged for the first time that it has stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons.
While it says they won’t be aimed at rebels, it is
threatening their use in the case of foreign military intervention.
But what will happen to these arms if the government falls? Some experts see growing concerns about this as scaremongering.
“This is part of spreading fears,” euronews was told by Nadim Shehadi of the Middle East Programme at British think-tank Chatham House.
“The message about the chemical weapons that we’re getting is what would happen to the chemical weapons after the collapse of the regime? Whether they will go into the hands of al Qaeda or terrorists or anything like that… That’s part of trying to regain the fear of the aftermath of Assad.”
Syria never signed the 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention so the size of its stockpiles is a mystery. Israel says it will consider military action if needed to ensure they don’t fall into the hands of the Lebanese Islamist group Hezbollah.