Assad’s chemical weapons units head out of Damascus toward Aleppo
[link to debka.com
debkafile’s military and intelligence sources reported that convoys of the Syrian army’s chemical weapons units headed out of Damascus under cover of dark and turned north up the road to Aleppo. Their destination is not yet known.
The convoys were ferrying self-propelled cannons for firing shells loaded with poisonous sarin gas.
Syrian President Bashar Assad had evidently decided to ignore the warnings President Barack Obama issued Monday night that there would be consequences if he or anyone in Syria resorted to chemical warfare and each would be held accountable.
Our sources report that the Syrian ruler is aparently gambling dangerously on the Americans holding back from attacking the convoys as long as they deploy unconventional weapons, and would only react when they are used.
He is also taking advantage of the heavy winds, rain and cloud over this part of the eastern Mediterranean and counting on the weather to obstruct military operations against his chemical weapons units.
By the time the weather clears some time Thursday, the units will be in place in battle formation. Meanwhile, bombing the convoys in windy weather could cause the deadly gas to spread out of control in unpredictable directions.
In Brussels, a NATO official announced that the alliance had agreed to augment Turkey’s air-defense capabilities by deploying Patriot missiles to Turkey.
debkafile’s military sources report that by the time the missiles arrive, the Syrian chemical weapons units will almost certainly have reached their pre-planned positions. Furthermore, the Patriot air defense systems are not designed to counter artillery and would therefore be unable to stop shells loaded with poison gas.