US, UK, French elite units on standby for seizing Syrian chemical weapons

Friday, August 24, 2012
By Paul Martin

Debka.com
August 23, 2012

US C130 transports stand ready at Middle East air bases to fly into Syria US elite units especially trained in combat against chemical and biological weapons and tactics for securing their arsenals. Western intelligence sources reported Thursday, Aug. 23 that those units are on standby at bases in Israel and Jordan. Their assignments are to engage Syrian troops attempting to move those unconventional weapons systems to battle fronts or Hizballah and to prevent them falling into the hands of radical Islamic rebel fighters, especially Al Qaeda.
Those elite units have been issued with special equipment for chemical and biological warfare including anti-contamination suits. The transports are also fitted with purification equipment for operating in polluted terrain.
These plans followed President Barack Obama’s warning Monday, Aug. 20 that “we cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people.” He announced, “We have put together a range of contingency plans.”
Also on standby for stealthy raids into Syria are British special operations forces in Cyprus and French units trained in unconventional warfare in Jordan. Thursday morning, President Obama talked by phone to British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Francois Hollande to wrap up the details of their combined operation in Syria, effectively the onset of direct Western intervention in the Syrian conflict.
The Pentagon had not by Thursday reacted to these reports, but did release photos of US special operations soldiers clad in anti-contamination suits standing by armored personnel carriers equipped for chemical and biological warfare. The American media were also briefed on US plans to land special operations teams trained in the handling of these weapons for missions to protect or destroy unguarded Syrian stockpiles before they fall into the wrong hands. They also refer to air strikes to incinerate chemicals without dispersing them in the air.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that alongside the US satellites and drone aircraft monitoring the chemical and biological weapons stores, small American reconnaissance teams are already on the ground, marking out landing sites and setting up bridgeheads for the incoming US, British and French special forces.

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