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Washington - U.S. Defense Secretary: Intelligence On Syrian Chemical Weapons Very Worrying

Published on: December 6, 2012 01:02 PM
By: Reuters
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Washington -  The United States has seen intelligence raising serious concerns that President Bashar al-Assad’s government is considering using chemical weapons, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday without elaborating on the nature of that intelligence.

“I think there is no question that we remain very concerned, very concerned that as the opposition advances - in particular on Damascus - that the regime might very well consider the use of chemical weapons,” Panetta told reporters in Washington.

“The intelligence that we have raises serious concerns that this is being considered.”

Several Western countries have issued coordinated warnings this week to Assad’s government not to use chemical weapons, many citing secret intelligence that U.S. officials have said showed Assad’s government might be preparing to use poison gas.

U.S. President Barack Obama has warned of consequences should Assad use the weapons, with the White House citing “contingency planning” when asked about the possibility of military intervention.

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Panetta restated Obama’s warning of consequences for Assad on Thursday, adding: “I’m not going to speculate or comment on what those potential consequences would be.”

“But I think it’s fair enough to say that their use of those weapons would cross a red line for us,” he said.


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Read Comments (4)  —  Post Yours »

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 Dec 06, 2012 at 03:05 PM Yossi Says:

Blablablabla....Remember when Iraq was invaded for having Chemical weapons which USA never found.....USA intelligence is not always so correct....
If Asaad feels his life is over he will pull off his chemical weapons and get rid of his enemies before taking his life..So who will the USA punish when he is gone.?

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 Dec 06, 2012 at 06:13 PM Benny Says:

Mr Panetta, don't be nervous!
Everything is fine, Mr Assad said he won't use it, probably it's only for the peaceful use, let us talk to them, talk, talk.....,
Just like Iran won't use nuclear
Just like Saddam Hussein wouldn't use them

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 Dec 06, 2012 at 07:41 PM Melech Says:

So Leon Panetta is "concerned". The Syrians have slaughtered 35,000 individuals, many of them non-combatant civilians, and NOW Panettta is concerned? Please! There is no way that Obama is going to authorize military operations against Syria. He is trying (and I hope soon) to get us out of Afghanistan. It was only today, that Hamid Karzi, the corrupt ruler of Afghanistan, blasted the USA. Enough American blood has been spilled in Iraq and Afghanistan. We don't need a third war in Syria. Let the Turks bomb the Syrians!

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