Syria may be arming bombs with chemical weapons
On Wednesday, President Obama's administration repeated its vow to take military action against Bashar al-Assad's regime if it uses chemical weapons against the rebels attempting to overthrow it, NBC reports.
"The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers," the anonymous officials said, according to NBC.
According to the sources, there was no evidence that the Syrians started mixing the precursor chemicals.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responded to the reports on Wednesday.
"Our concerns are that an increasingly desperate Assad regime might turn to chemical weapons, or might lose control of them to one of the many groups that are now operating within Syria," Clinton said, according to NBC. "We have sent an unmistakable message that this would cross a red line and those responsible would be held to account."
Juan Cole, an expert on the Middle East, took the reports on the chemical threat of Syria with a grain of salt.
"Chemicals would be difficult to deploy against a guerrilla movement of the sort the Baathist government of dictator Bashar al-Assad is facing," Cole said, according to Antiwar.com. "Moreover, Syria's mixed population makes it difficult to use chemical weapons on rebels without killing Alawi Shiites and other groups that so far have largely been an underpinning for the regime."
It is not yet clear what the Obama administration would do if Syria crosses the chemical red line. An estimated 75,000 troops would be needed to secure the weapons, Anitwar.com reports.