The Guardian 2 Dec. 2012 - referred to by NATO on 2 Dec. 2012 A request by Turkey for Nato Patriot missile defences to be deployed on its territory to spot an incoming missile and intercept it followed intelligence that the Syrian government was contemplating the use of missiles, possibly with chemical warheads, Turkish officials have told the Guardian.

The officials said they had credible intelligence from different sources that if the Syrian government’s aerial bombardment against opposition-held areas failed to hold the rebels back, Bashar al-Assad’s regime might resort to missiles and chemical weapons in a desperate last effort to survive.

The Turks believe that the regime’s Soviet-era Scuds and North Korean SS-21 missiles would be aimed principally at opposition areas but could easily stray across the border, as Syrian army artillery shells and mortars have done.

The New York Times reported that western intelligence officials had spotted new signs of activity around Syrian military sites where chemical weapons are stored. A senior US official was quoted as saying: “[T]hey’re doing some things that suggest they intend to use the weapons. It’s not just moving stuff around. These are different kind of activities.”

The Syrian regime is believed to have stocks of mustard gas, sarin nerve gas and possibly VX, another nerve agent. Western governments have warned Assad that any use of these weapons would trigger direct military intervention against him. So far, western officials say there are no signs of the regime taking the final steps of preparing chemical artillery shells, missiles or aircraft bombs for use.

Turkish officials believe Russian backing for the Syrian leader is finally fading. “Privately they have been telling us that they accept he is going to go,” a senior official said.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says “We are asking the Russians whether or not they want to help build a stable Syria after Assad,” a Turkish official said. Putin id to visit him these days.

The Jerusalem Post 3 Dec. 2012 Turkey scrambled fighter jets along its border with Syria on Monday after Syrian government forces bombed rebel positions in the frontier town of Ras al-Ain and stray shells flew into Turkish territory, Turkish security sources said.Shells landed in the Turkish town of Ceylanpinar, which abuts Ras al-Ain, triggering panic, the sources said. It was not immediately clear whether the shells were fired by forces loyal to President Bashar Assad or by the rebels.

The New York Times 2 Dec. 2012 Over the weekend, the activity in Syria prompted a series of emergency communications among the Western allies, who have long been developing contingency plans in case they decided to intervene in an effort to neutralize the chemical weapons, a task that the Pentagon estimates would require upward of 75,000 troops. But there were no signs that preparations for any such effort were about to begin.

At a news conference in August, Mr. Obama told reporters that any evidence that Mr. Assad was moving the weapons in a threatening way or making use of them is “a red line for us” that could prompt direct American intervention. “That would change my calculus,” he added.

Several months ago, the United States military quietly sent a task force of more than 150 planners and other specialists to Jordan to help the armed forces there to, among other things, prepare for the possibility that Syria would lose control of its chemical weapons.

“It’s very hard to read Assad,” one senior Israeli official said. “But we are seeing a kind of action that we’ve never seen before,” he said, declining to elaborate.

The New York Times 3 Dec. 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday warned President Bashar al-Assad of Syria not to use chemical weapons and said that the United States was prepared to act if he ignored the warning. “This is a red line for the United States,” Mrs. Clinton said.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry, in a swift response, said the government “would not use chemical weapons, if it had them, against its own people under any circumstances.” The statement was reported on Syrian state television and on the Lebanese channel LBC.

Comment
Is NATO trying to use the same groundless excuse as in Afghanistan and Iraq for an intervention in Syria: “Weapons of Mass destruction” - to see to it that the country gets a Rothschild central bank like Libya?