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Monday
Jul232012

US Watchful Amid Chemical War Threats in Syria

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Despite concerns that Syria's chemical and biological weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists, the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, California Sen. Diane Feinstein, is reassured -- for now.

"I think that we know where the chemical weapons are kept. There are a large number of sites. There is a large variety of chemical weapons. I think it's fair to say they are being watched carefully," she said.

Despite the violence so far, according to Sen. Feinstein, the Arab League, is hoping to get Syrian President Bashar Assad to give up power gracefully.

"[I] think if he and his family leave governance, there is an opportunity to put something together," said Feinstein.

But unlike Libya, Sen. Feinstein told a Washington audience, there is no western-backed coalition that could take over if Assad leaves.

The State Department says it would be completely unacceptable for the Syrian government to use its chemical weapons on its own people.

"Any talk about any use of any kind of a weapon like that in this situation is horrific and chilling. They Syrian regime has a responsibility to the world, has a responsibility first and foremost to its own citizens to protect and safeguard those weapons," said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland.

Nuland has dismissed as a hypothetical any talk of Israel possibly getting involved in Syria to prevent chemical weapons from landing in the hands of extremists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio