Syria's chemical stockpile reportedly on the move
Pentagon concerned that weapons could fall into wrong hands
- Duration 5:52
- Date Jul 13, 2012
Pentagon concerned that weapons could fall into wrong hands
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Serious stockpiles of chemical weapons are on the move in the Pentagon.
Doesn't know whether gone.
Where they're going that's according to a senior defense source we're told that Syria has been pulling chemical agents out of storage.
Possibly including the deadly nerve agent -- Syria also has large stockpiles of mustard gas and cyanide.
And it is a frightening development in a country -- human rights groups say has already slaughtered more than 171000.
Of its own citizens.
And that US military source says the Pentagon is concerned that the chaos of the fighting.
The mass destruction agents could wind up.
In the hands of terrorists the news comes one day after opposition activists reported the slaughter.
Of around 200 people mostly civilians now remember Fox News cannot independently confirm that but if true.
It proves it would reportedly be the bloodiest massacre since the uprising against the government there began.
Jennifer Griffin with the new she's live for us at the Pentagon and -- what can you tell us exactly about the movement of these chemical agent.
-- according to a senior US defense source US intelligence monitors.
Intercepted several streams of signals intelligence about a week ago suggesting.
That elements within the Syrian regime have transferred some of its stockpile of chemical agents.
Possibly Sarin nerve gas to the Homs region.
About a week ago the latest intelligence suggests there was movement of these chemical agents but there is no sign as of yet that they have been used.
Violence in homes has been on the rise according to this military source it's not clear whether the movement of the stockpile was authorized by president -- -- Or whether was carried out by local commanders within the Syrian military who are frustrated that they cannot suppress the rebellion in homes Trace.
Social what do we know again is depending -- planning to get involved trying secured the missing chemical stockpiles.
Well -- been top level meetings at the Pentagon and elsewhere about this new intelligence but according to my source even in light of the new massacre.
At -- say that's where 227.
People appear to have been killed by helicopter gunships yesterday.
There is no plan to get involved militarily because the general intelligence assessment is that most portions of the opposition are not aligned with US or western interest.
There is some talk of sharing the latest intelligence with another country even possibly the Russians so that they couldn't secure the chemical stockpiles.
That have been moved to homes the only problem according to this defense source they don't know where the chemical agents are right now the intelligence intercepts.
Are a week old Trace.
Jennifer Griffin's life force -- the Pentagon gents thank you and as Jennifer reported officials at the Pentagon fear those chemical weapons could wind up in the wrong hands.
Which is truly a nightmare scenario when you're dealing with a deadly nerve agents like serin gas.
Let's bring in former intelligence officer Mike Barrett for his take on the situation Mike -- you look at this thing and look it's -- that they're gonna -- take this stuff way to use it.
Take it away to protect it.
But either way something's up in Syria.
Well that's right and of course you know the other option here is that they're signaling to the west that hey if you guys do intervene we are gonna use this stuff -- you guys are gonna get caught in the crossfire.
So there's absolutely no way that this turns out to be a good type you know a good piece -- news.
OK so if if in fact that is the case what does the US do as you say there are.
Clearly repercussions for going in with military force in Syria.
But what does the United States do just -- on its hands and continue watching this.
Well unfortunately I mean you know you gotta be realistic about these sorts of things right this is an Internet -- civil war you've got the Sunnis vs this year as you've got a state.
Falling apart he got people kill each other.
Going in and trying to separate them.
Is not a good idea going in -- trying to pick sides is not a good idea we don't know whether there's terrorist elements on the Sunni side.
We don't know you know the nature of the -- the Asad regime if they continue and power.
It's really one of these things where nobody wants to hear it we all hate to see that news reports and hear what's happening.
But we certainly don't want to go in and make the situation worse or worse yet make the US more of a target.
There was plenty of hatred of the US in that region the last thing we want -- chemical weapons pointed back at us.
Yeah but yet you say that nothing's a good idea Mike but the the bottom line here is you've got a government that is killing its own people so what is a good idea.
Well I mean you know you did try the the diplomacy try to get the local that the neighbors so you try to get Turkey at some of the other countries there that.
You know there -- -- more engaged in the area they've got the cultural ties and that sort of thing it's not seen as the west trying to impose itself again back into the middle of the Middle East problems.
So I think unfortunately we have to try to get a regional solution.
Not a US led solution we -- -- have very very light fingerprints on this and then hopefully you know whether it's it's through the Asad regime becoming more stable.
We want to avoid a situation where they do go in and actually just kill tens of thousands of people.
But you -- remedies guys have you know chemical weapons and so we're talking about the kind of regime that actually could.
Kill thousands and thousands and thousands of people in a single day in a single act.
Just like Saddam did against the -- and I guess the other question would be Mike is it possible that Bashir Al Asad is moving these weapons as a way to kind of scare the rebels to say look back off.
You know it's possible this certainly gamesmanship that happens but you know -- -- certainly shown willingness to kill essentially indiscriminately.
And so I think the rebels have that message loud and clear.
It's it's a power play it's probably saying to Iran and Russia hey remember you guys don't wanna be -- in the west go ahead and engage I think -- the real target this is probably.
More the international community more of a warning signs don't tread on us don't come in here try to do this.
And again I think we should take heed of that because realistically what happens in Syria is not the most pressing thing that America needs to be worried about right now.
Mike Barrett thank you -- Thank you.