Syria Military Prepares Chemical Weapons, American Officials Say

Military awaiting Assad’s orders to attack rebels. posted on

Laszlo Balogh / Reuters

Syrians try to cross the border from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain to the Turkish border town of Ceylanpinar after an air strike Dec. 3, 2012.

The Syrian military has loaded deadly chemical weapons into bombs and is preparing for orders from President Bashar Assad to use them against rebels, Fox News and NBC reported Wednesday.

Senior American officials told both NBC and Fox News that bombs were loaded with elements of sarin gas, with 60 days to use the bombs before the chemical agents would expire.

Sarin is a deadly nerve gas perhaps best known for its infamous use by Saddam Hussein against his own Kurdish people in Halabja in 1988. That single attack killed an estimated 5,000 civilians and injured another 10,000. Thousands more died from complications from the attack for years in Iraq.

A White House spokesman declined to comment to BuzzFeed outside of remarks made by press secretary Jay Carney om Monday. Carney said that “use or proliferation of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would cross a red line for the United States.”

He added that “the Assad regime must know that the world is watching and that they will be held accountable by the United States and the international community if they use chemical weapons.”

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