Analysis

Syrian CW Reports Could be Ploy for Asylum for Assad
A December 2 photo showing destruction due to the Syrian uprising in Aleppo, the country’s former commercial center. (Javier Manzano/AFP/Getty Images)
December 6, 2012
| Security
| Middle East and North Africa
Summary
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New reports yesterday that the Syrian military has weaponized chemical weapons could indicate an effort by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to increase his leverage for the terms of his departure from power, possibly to convince Western states to facilitate an asylum deal. LIGNET is skeptical that chemical weapons are being readied and believes the news reports may amount to disinformation by the Assad regime or its opponents and could also represent speculation by U.S. officials.
NBC, Fox News, and other news outlets cited senior U.S. officials yesterday who said that Syria’s military has mixed chemical weapon precursors to prepare these deadly weapons for possible use against the Syrian opposition and has put weaponized chemical weapons agents either into bombs or for use in an aerosol form that could be deployed from aircraft. 
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