Special Forces from France United Kingdom and United States are deployed near borders Syria 3108126

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Defense News - Syria

 
 
Friday, August 31, 2012, 05:25 PM
 
Special Forces from France United Kingdom and United States are deployed near borders of Syria.
On Sunday 26 August, The Daily Star reported that “nearly 200 elite SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) British troops are in or around Syria” looking for weapons of mass destruction in the country. British special forces, along with troops from France and the United States, are poised along the borders of Syria to secure and destroy the country’s arsenal of chemical weapons if the regime in Damascus collapses.
     
On Sunday 26 August, The Daily Star reported that “nearly 200 elite SAS (Special Air Service) and SBS (Special Boat Service) British troops are in or around Syria” looking for weapons of mass destruction in the country. British special forces, along with troops from France and the United States, are poised along the borders of Syria to secure and destroy the country’s arsenal of chemical weapons if the regime in Damascus collapses.
Armed with CQBR and M4 Carbines and sporting Glock sidearms, Special Forces soldiers with the 1st Battalion, 10th Special Forces Group (Airborne) practise small arms drills during joint training with Hungarian forces.
     

The news comes after Syrian information minister Omran al-Zoubi denied allegations made by the UK and US that Syria possessed chemical weapons and warned them against any thought of military interference in Syria.

“We have never said we have them…coming to Syria is not a picnic. But Syria does not want a war with anyone," al-Zoubi said after British Prime Minister David Cameron and US president Barack Obama accused the Syrian government of planning to deploy chemical weapons.

August 23, 2012, United States had announced that the Pentagon has made contingency plans to send small teams of special operations troops into Syria if the White House decides it needs to secure chemical weapons depots now controlled by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, senior U.S. officials said.

President Barack Obama warned that any effort by Assad to move or use his arsenal of chemical munitions in the country's conflict would cross a "red line," implying it could prompt swift U.S. intervention.

But Pentagon planners are more focused on protecting or destroying any Syrian stockpiles that are left unguarded and at risk of falling into the hands of rebel fighters or militias aligned with al-Qaida, Hizballah or other militant groups.

According to intelligence sources, specialized military units from France, United Kingdom and United States have been in place for more than a month in Turkey, Israel and Jordan, ready to strike at Syria’s chemical weapon stocks and missile sites.

“The personnel are there, the equipment is there, the lift capability is there,” said one intelligence source in the Middle East.

“There are people on the ground (inside Syria) assessing the logistics of landing and securing these sites. Preparations are underway for a mission to secure and destroy these weapons.”

The troop buildup on Syria’s borders underlines the mounting concern among Western powers and their regional allies that the largest stockpile of chemical weapons in the Middle East could fall into the hands of terrorists as the country fragments.

 

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