Syrian Rebels Claim Ability to Manufacture Chemical Arms

Syrian rebels possess the ability to produce chemical weapons that would be used as a last resort should they face chemical strikes from the Bashar Assad regime, a political counselor to the Free Syrian Army claimed in an interview with Turkey's official Anatolia news agency last week.

Bassam al-Dada claimed that opposition forces already have the precursor substances and technical understanding to manufacture chemical agents. No other substantiating details were provided in a Hindu news report to back up his claim.

Rebel forces would only carry out chemical attacks if they are first attacked with such weapons by Damascus, al-Dada said. "If we ever use them, we will only hit the regime's bases and centers," he said.

The United Nations estimates the Syrian civil war has caused 60,000 deaths to date. There is no end in sight, and Assad remained defiant in a Sunday speech.

Israel plans to put up a barrier along its boundary line with Syria, the New York Times reported on Sunday. Violent militants have moved into the Syrian side of the border as government forces have pulled out, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told top government officials.

"Therefore, we will defend this border against both infiltration and terrorism,” Netanyahu said. “I also submit to the Cabinet the fact that the Syrian regime is very unstable, that the question of chemical weapons here worries us.”

January 7, 2013
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Syrian rebels possess the ability to produce chemical weapons that would be used as a last resort should they face chemical strikes from the Bashar Assad regime, a political counselor to the Free Syrian Army claimed in an interview with Turkey's official Anatolia news agency last week.

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