Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Syria 'plans to use chemical weapons'

19 September 2012, 11:03

London - The Syrian regime plans to deploy chemical weapons against its own people "as a last resort", the former head of Syria's chemical arsenal told The Times newspaper in an interview published on Wednesday.

Major-General Adnan Sillu said he defected from the Syrian army three months ago after being party to top-levels talks about the use of chemical weapons on both rebel fighters and civilians.

"We were in a serious discussion about the use of chemical weapons, including how we would use them and in what areas," he told the newspaper, referring to a meeting held at Syria's chemical weapons centre south of Damascus.

"We discussed this as a last resort - such as if the regime lost control of an important area such as Aleppo."

Speaking from Turkey, General Sillu told The Times that he was certain President Bashar Assad's regime would eventually use chemical weapons against civilians, adding that the discussion had been "the last straw" which triggered his defection.

His comments come after German press reported on Tuesday that the Syrian army had tested a chemical weapons delivery system.

'For use against Israel'

In his first interview since his defection, General Sillu said the Syrian regime had also considered supplying chemical weapons to the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

"They wanted to place warheads with the chemical weapons on missiles - to transfer them this way to Hezbollah. It was for use against Israel, of course," he told The Times.

He suggested that the regime now had "nothing to lose" in sharing the weapons and added: "If a war starts between Hezbollah and Israel it will be only good for Syria."

Members of Iran's Revolutionary Guard also attended numerous meetings to discuss the use of chemical weapons, he said.

"They were always coming to visit and to advise. They were always sending us scientists and bringing our scientists to them. They were also involved on the political side of how to use the chemical weapons."

The German magazine Der Spiegel, citing "witnesses, reported [on] Monday that the Syrian army has tested a chemical weapons delivery system, firing shells at a research centre in its northwestern desert region.

"Five or six empty shells devised for delivering chemical agents were fired by tanks and aircraft, at a site called Diraiham in the desert near the village of Khanasir," east of the city of Aleppo, Der Spiegel reported.

The Safira research centre in question is regarded as Syria's largest testing site for chemical weapons.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...