Expert: Syrian weapons could be obtained by al-Qaeda

In an editorial for Ground Report, a former U.S. soldier and infantryman asks if the chemical weapons cache in Syria may be used by the Assad regime or be stolen away by al-Qaeda forces.

Robert Tilford, a former soldier and a graduate of the U.S. Army Infantry School in Georgia, writes that al-Qaeda members have created their own brigades in an effort to take over Syria and take advantage of a dangerous chemical weapons stockpile. The chemical weapons in Syria may include mustard gas, sarin and VX nerve gas, Ground Report reports.

"U.S. officials deny al-Qaeda is part of the rebel movement it is helping to arm and equip in some cases...but that is another story," Tilford said, according to Ground Report. "The fact is the US has no good plan on what to do if Syria collapses, the military loses control or if Al-Qaeda manages to steal chemical weapons from one or all of the more than 50 suspected sites in that country."

Tilford spoke with some intelligence agents who said that there may be more than 50 chemical weapons sites in Syria and that to safeguard all those facilities during an invasion, the United States would need at least 50,000 to 80,000 soldiers.

According to Tilford, if the Assad regime falls, the nation and its network of chemical weapons may be likely to fall to extremists due to a lack of an identifiable group ready to take over.