Defected Syrian general: Assad will never cede chemical arsenal

Zaher al-Sakat to CNN: Syrian regime has secret storage sites, has been transferring weapons to Iraq, Hezbollah.

October 2, 2013 05:08
Syrian President Bashar Assad heading a cabinet meeting in Damascus, February 12, 2013.

Bashar Assad 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/SANA/Handout)


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President Bashar Assad will never cede his chemical arsenal, a defected Syrian general said on Tuesday.

“The locations of most of the scientific research centers in Syria and the storage facilities are known and under surveillance.

Thus, he will give up those centers and facilities for sure without lying,” Syrian Brig.-Gen. Zaher al-Sakat told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour. “That said, however, Bashar Assad will not give up the chemical stockpile.”

Sakat has said he defected from the Syrian army after he was ordered to use “lethal chemical agents” and replaced them with nontoxic substances.

According to Sakat, the regime has four secret storage locations in the country for its chemical weapons and has also been transferring chemical arms to Iraq and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

In September, the head of the Free Syrian Army relayed the same claim to CNN that opposition intelligence indicated Assad was moving chemical arms out of the country.

“Today, we have information that the regime began to move chemical materials and chemical weapons to Lebanon and to Iraq,” Gen. Salim Idriss said.

Ariel Ben Solomon contributed to this report.

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