En Route to Mideast, JCS Chairman Underscores Collaboration on Syria Intel

Global Security Newswire Staff
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Global Security Newswire Staff
Aug. 13, 2013, 9:02 a.m.

The chair­man of the Joint Chiefs of Staff began a weeklong trip to the Middle East on Monday, say­ing that the United States has been aided by re­gion­al in­tel­li­gence ef­forts in loc­at­ing Syr­ia’s chem­ic­al weapons cache, the New York Times re­por­ted.

Gen. Mar­tin De­mp­sey went on to say the deadly ar­sen­al is moved “from time to time,” ap­par­ently so that the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment can pre­vent rebels from cap­tur­ing the weapons.

“Pos­sibly the single point of greatest col­lab­or­a­tion with Is­rael, Jordan and the United States is in identi­fy­ing the po­ten­tial chem­ic­al threat, its loc­a­tion, try­ing to de­term­ine the in­ten­tions of the Syr­i­an re­gime,” De­mp­sey said. “It ap­pears the re­gime is mov­ing it to se­cure it. But that could change.”

Mean­while, the United Na­tions said on Tues­day that it is still in the ne­go­ti­at­ing pro­cess with Dam­as­cus after the two sides failed to reach an agree­ment on safety as­sur­ances for the U.N. chem­ic­al-weapons in­spec­tion team, Re­u­ters re­por­ted.

“Once the gov­ern­ment of Syr­ia con­firms its ac­cept­ance of the mod­al­it­ies, the mis­sion will de­part without delay,” said the United Na­tions in a state­ment.

“Over the week­end, the in­vest­ig­a­tion team led by Dr. Ake Sell­strom com­pleted all ne­ces­sary lo­gist­ic­al ar­range­ments for its vis­it to Syr­ia,” the in­ter­na­tion­al or­gan­iz­a­tion said.

“In the mean­time, the High Rep­res­ent­at­ive for Dis­arm­a­ment Af­fairs, An­gela Kane, has con­tin­ued her con­sulta­tions with the gov­ern­ment of Syr­ia with a view to reach­ing agree­ment as soon as pos­sible on the mod­al­it­ies es­sen­tial for co­oper­a­tion to en­sure the prop­er, safe and ef­fi­cient con­duct of the mis­sion,” the United Na­tions said.

The trip was post­poned in­def­in­itely on Monday after en­coun­ter­ing lo­gist­ic­al im­ped­i­ments.

It was also re­vealed on Tues­day that Syr­i­an rebels — who have long urged the West to provide them with arms — had reached a mil­it­ary sup­port deal with Su­dan’s gov­ern­ment, and had already re­ceived ship­ments, the New York Times re­por­ted.

West­ern of­fi­cials and Syr­i­an op­pos­i­tion forces have not been pub­licly ac­know­ledged the mil­it­ary aid, un­der which rebels have re­ceived an­ti­air­craft mis­siles and small-arms rounds. Mu­ni­tions from the ship­ments have been ob­served on the bat­tle­field, and have helped Syr­i­an mil­it­ants fight against the heav­ier fire­power of the Syr­i­an gov­ern­ment, the Times re­por­ted.   

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