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August 17, 2012 12:00 am

Securing Syria’s Chemical Weapons May Require Massive Operation

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Chemical weapons collected after Libya's National Transitional Council declared full liberation of the country. Similar weapons are believed to be inside Syria. Photo: Giovanni Diffidenti.

Haaretz/Reuters – The United States and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require tens of thousands of ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of President Bashar Assad’s government, according to U.S. and diplomatic officials.

These secret discussions assume that all of Assad’s security forces disintegrate, leaving chemical and biological weapons sites in Syria vulnerable to pillaging. The scenario also assumes these sites could not be secured or destroyed solely through aerial bombings, given health and environmental risks.

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