Bashar Assad 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/SANA/Handout)
Syrian President Bashar Assad told a number of guests
gathered in his palace in Damascus recently that his country’s loss of chemical
weapons resulted in a blow to its morale and political position.
“There is no doubt that the loss of chemical weapons has
resulted in a loss of morale and a political loss for Syria. Since 2003, Syria
has demanded that the countries in the region dismantle their WMDs, and the
chemical weapons were meant to be a bargaining chip in Syria’s hands in
exchange for Israel dismantling its nuclear arsenal,” Lebanese Hezbollah
identified newspaper Al-Akhbar reported Monday Assad as saying.
“The chemical weapons, which have lost their deterrent value
over the past few years,
were meant to
be used only after Israel used its nuclear weapons,” Assad said.
"Today the price has changed and we have agreed to give up
our chemical weapons to remove the threat of the US attacking us."
According to Assad, the chemical weapons had an influence on
Syria’s morale because “Israel would distribute gas masks to its citizens when
there was a rise in tension in the region.”
Assad told the guests that Syria had stopped producing chemical
weapons in 1997 because they were not efficient arms.
“Five of our soldiers were injured by chemical weapons that
were used by the terrorists, and after they received an injection they returned
to the battlefield after two days,” Assad said.
On the issue of the issue of the global chemical watchdog
OPCW’s recent Nobel Peace Prize win,
Assad joking with his guests said, “That prize
should have been given to me.”
According to the report, Assad addressed the possibility of
war with Israel, saying, “I know that it would be enough to fire conventional
missiles at Israeli airfields in order to cause immense damage and incapacitate
it, because Israel is strong due its air force.”