Defected officer blasts regime foot-dragging on chemical weapons
March 5, 2014
LIAR’S POKER: “This regime always lies,” said Major-General Adnan Salu, the former director of the chemical warfare division in the Syrian army, in opening remarks of an interview with Al-Jazeera Tuesday during which he asserted that the Syrian government regime is lying about surrendering its arsenal of chemical weapons.
“If the regime were serious about surrendering its arsenal, then it would have done so by February 6,” added Salu, who broke ties with the Syrian army in June 2012 and fled to southern Turkey, where he is currently based in Antakya.
“The regime has an arsenal of 1,300 tons of chemical weapons. Up to February 26th, it had destroyed just 11% of that,” added Salu, who retired from his position as the director of the Syian army’s chemical warfare division in 2008.
Per the UN-brokered agreement signed by the Syrian government late last year, Syria was to have completed the handover of its chemical weapons arsenal by February 6th.
Opponents of the Syrian government are publicly denouncing the regime’s failure to meet the commitment to relinquish control of its chemical weapons. Hisham Marwa, a member of the Syrian National Coalition, released a statement on Tuesday saying that “Assad is not going to surrender his weapons unless the international community hints at using military force against him.”
Syria has presented a plan to move all remaining chemical weapons from its arsenal out of Syria by next January, according to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW).