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October 14, 2013 8:30 am

Assad Says Syria Doesn’t Need Chemical Weapons Against Israel

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waving to an admiring crowd. Photo: Syrianpresidency Instagram account.

Times of Israel – Syria has shifted the focus of its military industry from Israel to the internal insurgency, President Bashar Assad told a Lebanese daily in a lengthy interview Monday. He also dubbed the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas “treacherous” for its anti-regime stance.

Speaking to the Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, a newspaper close to Hezbollah and sympathetic to his government, Assad said Syria’s advanced missile capabilities were sufficient to deter Israel militarily and therefore he did not need the chemical stockpile. In fact, he said, Syria stopped manufacturing chemical weapons back in 1997, replacing them with conventional missiles “which are the determining factor on the ground.”

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