The United States has sent CIA officers to Syria to assess the country’s chemical and biological weapons program, according to a U.S. official with Syrian intelligence access.
The official said that CIA is attempting to debrief defecting military officers to get as much knowledge as possible about Syria’s biological and chemical weapons. The agency must also examine the caches of intercepted emails, satellite images and phone calls to determine exactly where Assad’s regime is hiding biological and chemical weapons, the Times of Israel reports.
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, would not comment about the presence of CIA officers in Syria, but he has said that the Obama administration has taken recent action in the country.
“(The U.S. has deployed) the resources necessary to collect the information that we need to make a good decision on chemical and biological (weapons), opposition groups and leadership transition strategies,” Rogers said, according to the Times of Israel.
A spokesperson for the CIA declined to comment on any Syrian missions.
Ehud Barak, the defense minister of Israel, said that the country is concerned that weapons would end up in the hands of Hezbollah, a Lebanon-based terrorist organization.
“(Israel is watching out for) the possible transfer of advanced weapons systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a transfer of chemical capabilities from Syria to Lebanon,” Barak said, according to the Times of Israel.