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Published On: Thu, Sep 19th, 2013

Assad promises to have chemical weapons destroyed within one year

Syrian President Bashar Assad said he is committed to the chemical weapons agreement and vowed to hand over the country’s chemical arms to be destroyed. He added that the plan will cost around $1 billion and take about a year to complete.

Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, Assad said that Syria is ready to hand over its chemical weapons to any country willing to take them.

Joint press conference with Syrian President following Russian-Syrian talks. 2010 Photo/Presidential Press and Information Office

Joint press conference with Syrian President following Russian-Syrian talks. 2010 Photo/Presidential Press and Information Office

“I think it’s a very complicated operation, technically. And it needs a lot of money, about a billion [dollars],” he said. “So it depends, you have to ask the experts what they mean by quickly. It has a certain schedule. It needs a year, or maybe a little bit more.”

Assad still insists that government forces were not responsible for the chemical attack outside Damascus on August 21. He added that the attack was a violation of international law.

“This is despicable. It’s a crime.”

“We have evidence that terrorist groups [have] used sarin gas,” he said. “The whole story [that the Syrian government used them] doesn’t even hold together…We didn’t use any chemical weapons.”

Referring to the recent UN report that confirmed the chemical attack did take place, Assad stressed that sarin gas could have been made by anyone and hinted that foreign governments could have been behind the attack.

“The sarin gas [is] called kitchen gas. You know why? Because anyone can make sarin in his house,” he said. “We know that all those rebels are supported by governments.”

The Syrian leader stressed that his decision to destroy the chemical weapons stockpiles was not forced upon him by the threat of US strikes.

“Yeah, there’s a misunderstanding that we agreed with this agreement because of the American threat,” he said.

“Actually, if you go back before the G20, before the proposal, the Russian initiative, the American threat wasn’t about handing over the chemical arsenal, it was about attacking Syria in order not to use the arsenal again,” he said, referring to a Russian offer to oversee his disarmament.

“So it’s not about the threat. Syria never obey any threat. We actually responded to the Russian initiative and to our needs and to our conviction,” he insisted.

The plan to destroy Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles was unveiled by the US and Russia last weekend.

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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  1. John Kerry presses for UN actions against Syria after latest report - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Assad said this week that they will have over all of the chemical weapons to be destroyed and that process will take about one year – read more here […]

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