Syria’s Alleged WMDs: Obama Threatens Damascus with “Special Operation Troops” and “Precision Air Strikes”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the Pentagon intends to send “small teams of special operations troops” into Syria with a view to destroying Syria’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)
These teams would in turn be supported by “precision air strikes”, namely air raids:
Securing the sites would probably involve stealthy raids by special operations teams trained to handle such weapons, and precision air strikes to incinerate the chemicals without dispersing them in the air, the officials said. U.S. satellites and drone aircraft already maintain partial surveillance of the sites.
U.S. intelligence agencies believe Syria has over the years produced or acquired hundreds of tons of sarin nerve agent and mustard gas, a blister agent, and has sought to develop VX, another powerful nerve gas. The toxicity of some chemical agents degrades significantly over time, so it is unclear how lethal the stockpiles are.
Experts say the chemical agents are stored in bunkers and other sites around the country. Four production facilities are near the cities of Aleppo, Hama and Homs, all tinderboxes in the 17-month uprising, as well as the coastal city of Latakia, an area considered a stronghold for Assad’s Alawite religious sect.
An unclassified report by the director of national intelligence this year said Syria’s chemical agents “can be delivered by aerial bombs, ballistic missiles and artillery rockets.” But Syrian rockets, including Scud missiles procured from North Korea, are notoriously inaccurate, making them ineffective for delivering a heavy concentration of toxic chemicals to a specific target. . ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms – latimes.com, August 22, 2012)
An all out aerial attack is not contemplated. The precision strikes are solely intended to “destroy the chemical weapons without dispersing them in the air”, a highly risky undertaking…
But rest assured, this special forces invasion and air operation is not directed against the Syrian regime. Ironically, the intent is to protect civilians against the ‘opposition” rebels.
In an usual twist, the stated purpose of the operation is to ensure that Syria’s WMDs, which allegedly “are left unguarded” in military bunkers around the country do not fall in the hands of opposition jihadist rebels who are fighting government forces:
Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk [of] falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with Al Qaeda, Hezbollah or other militant groups. ( U.S. has plans in place to secure Syria chemical arms – latimes.com, August 22, 2012
But wait a minute. Aren’t these the same “pro-democracy” freedom fighters who are recruited and financed by several of America’s close allies including Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, in liaison with Washington and NATO headquarters in Brussels.
Although he did not make an explicit threat, Obama’s comments at the White House on Monday were widely seen as a direct warning to Assad that the U.S. would take military action if necessary to stop the use of chemical weapons. But officials said later that no large-scale U.S. intervention is likely unless it is part of an international coalition.
“You shouldn’t interpret what Obama said to mean that there would be automatic military action, but rather that we would respond as part of an international effort,” said one senior official. (Ibid)