A report in the Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah claims that the Iranian Revolutionary Guards will use chemical weapons on Assad’s behalf when and if it is deemed necessary, and that the Guards and not Assad will make that decision.
The Iraqi Sadrist leader said the Syrian regime’s political military and security factions have become more desperate as rebel forces converge on Damascus, and therefore the regime won’t hesitate to use “any weapon” against the opposition, Al-Seyassah reported.
This faction, led by Gen. Ali Mamlouk, Assad’s special security adviser and former head of the General Security Directorate (GID); his deputy Gen. Abdel-Fateh Qudsiya; current GID chief Maj.-Gen. Mohammed Dib Zaitoun; military intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Rafiq Shahada; and Gen. Rustum Ghazali, the head of the Political Security Directorate, believe such a move could help quash the uprising once and for all.
The majority of Syria’s military leaders and the Defense Ministry have warned, however, that if the army itself resorts to chemical weapons against the rebels, that move may result to the armed forces’ “complete disintegration,” since while the army does not really oppose the use of such weapons, it does not want to be directly involved in using them against the Syrian opposition, the source told Al-Seyassah.
Mamlouk, Qudsiya and Zaitoun have proposed that special units of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, rather than the Syrian Army, be asked to carry out security leaders’ orders to use chemical weapons, the source said.
Kuwaiti daily cites Iraqi source as saying Assad officials might ask Iran’s Qods Force to deploy chemical weapons.
Sources in Iraq say Syrian President Bashar Assad’s inner circle is engaged in “intensive debate” between those who advocate using chemical weapons as a last resort and those who warn of the dangers of such a step, Kuwaiti daily Al-Seyassah reported on Thursday.
Al-Seyassah said its reporters spoke to a “prominent figure in Iraq’s Islamist Sadrist movement” in Baghdad. The movement, led by popular Shi’ite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, is supportive of Assad but has previously denied reports it has sent fighters to Syria to help put down the uprising.
Assad’s security and intelligence chiefs believe the rebels’ convergence on the capital provides a unique “opportunity to exterminate them,” the source said.
US intelligence officials have also intercepted one communication within the last six months they believe was from the Revolutionary Guard Corps’s elite extraterritorial unit, the Qods Force, according to the Washington Post. That communication reportedly urged Syrian regime members to use its supplies of Sarin nerve gas against rebels and the civilians supporting them in Homs.
Report: Israel Special Forces Tracking Chemical Weapons in Syria
IDF Special Forces are operating inside Syria to track chemical weapons, the London Sunday Times reported.
The report from London comes hours after Syrian opposition forces released a video showing that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons in the commercial center of Aleppo.