Syria: Britain to send 5,000 chemical weapon protection hoods
The decision follows revelations that David Cameron has abandoned plans to equip secular-minded rebels with weaponry.
Mr Hague said the Government would also be sending “moderate” opposition forces nerve agent pre-treatment tablets and chemical weapons detector paper.
He said the chemical weapons hoods protected against Sarin attacks for up to 20 minutes. Those who wear them are able to move away from an affected area but cannot continue to fight, he said.
Meanwhile the tablets can give those under a chemical weapons attack the time to get to a medical centre to receive atropine, the drug needed to overcome Sarin.
WASHINGTON — The United Kingdom on Tuesday said it would rush breathing filters, drugs and paper test strips to Syria for protecting resistance fighters against possible nerve gas strikes by President Bashar Assad’s forces.
The assistance would include 5,000 “escape hoods” effective against sarin nerve agent for 20 minutes, as well as “pre-treatment tablets” capable of giving victims more time to obtain antidote from medical personnel, Foreign Secretary William Hague said in a statement to lawmakers.
Deliveries to the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition would begin “on or after” Aug. 3, he said.
Senators push for Syria intervention after Israeli strike
Amid claims from US sources that Israel struck a facility storing Russian missiles in northern Syria last week, Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and John McCain (R-AZ) on Tuesday renewed their calls for American action against the Assad regime.
Speaking to The Daily Beast after a Senate Armed Services Committee briefing on the alleged Israeli strike near the coastal city of Latakia, Graham urged American intervention in the more than two-year civil war to prevent the further spread of hostilities throughout the Middle East.
“Here’s what the Israeli strikes show us. If we don’t do something about Syria, it’s going to spread quickly,” the senator from South Carolina said. “Six more months from now, if nothing changes, that’s going to require Israel to do more not less and every time Israel has to take military action in the Middle East, that’s not a good thing.”
Britain has sold industrial materials to Syria that could have been used to make chemical weapons, according to a new report by MPs on arms sales.
The Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) said it was just one example of numerous questionable deals between UK contractors and countries the Foreign Office (FCO) deems to have poor human rights records.
The CAEC said supplies of sodium fluoride, which could be used to make chemical weapons, were sent to Syria in the last couple of years.