- The Washington Times - Monday, September 23, 2013

Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview with state-run Chinese media that other nations may incite rebel forces into attacking U.N. inspectors who are headed into the country to secure chemical weapons.

“There might be countries that might ask the terrorists to attack the inspectors to prevent them from doing their jobs, and blame the Syrian government,” he said, as CNN reported. “At this point, this remains just a possibility and we cannot know until the inspectors arrive in Syria.”

Syria has provided the United Nations with a preliminary list of its chemical weapons cache as part of a recently forged agreement with Russian and U.S. authorities. The agreement means that inspectors from the international community will take charge of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile before the end of November.

It’s expected that the task of security and destroying the weapons could require thousands of inspectors and troops, CNN reported. It’s up to the Syrian government to guarantee the safety of inspectors, Mr. Assad said, referring to the terms of the agreement.

He also assured that the chemical weapons currently are stored in a safe and secure location.

“Chemical weapons are safely stored to prevent terrorists or groups from other countries from taking them over,” he said to the Chinese media.

SEE ALSO: U.S. and Russia press Syria, but are slow to destroy their own chemical weapons


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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