Former Syrian Weapons Chief: ‘Assad Ordered Me to Gas Syrian Rebels and Civilians Three Times’, Assad Hiding Chemical Weapons In Iran and Lebanon
In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, Former Syrian weapons chief, Brigadier-General Zaher al-Sakat claims he was ordered by Assad himself to use chemical weapons three times on Syrian rebels and civilian targets between October 2012 and January 2013. The former weapons chief said he could not bring himself to follow through with the attacks, so he replaced the chemicals with a “harmless substitute” of bleach and water. Al-Sakat, who fled to Jordan once his superiors became suspicious, believes that the Syrian government used chemical weapons 34 times on its own people. Al-Sakat said despite Assad’s agreement to hand over or destroy his chemical weapon arsenal, for the past 3 months Assad has been secretly sending a portion of those weapons to allies in Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Daily Mail reported:
In the interview he said that he had been ordered to attack civilian targets in the rebel districts of Sheikh Masqeen, Herak, and Busra, using a mixture of phosgene and other chlorine-based gases, which are less deadly than sarin.But general Sakat said that before each of the attacks – between October 2012 and January 2013 – he secretly replaced the chemical canisters with a mixture of bleach and water, which would still smell like deadly chemical weapons but not kill anybody.He said: ‘They were completely convinced that this was the same poisonous material. In this way I saved hundreds of lives of children and others.’He then fled to Jordan after he felt his superiors were suspicious of the lack of deaths caused by his attacks, but claims to have been keeping up with the progress of the attacks using a network of informants.Although Preisdent Assad has agreed to hand over his weapons, and Russian officials have said they are making plans for what to do if Assad ‘cheats’ the system.But General Sakat said that before a deal was even proposed, the Syrian regime had begun sending its weapons to allies in the militant organisation Hezbollah in Lebanon at four different sites.A spokesman for the rebel Free Syrian Army, backed the claims, saying: ‘We, along with many other international sources learned, through documents and other evidence about the transfer of Syrian chemical weapons to Hizbollah in Lebanon nearly three months ago.
The Telegraph has more on the story.