FOXNEWS: Alert Assad Moving Chemical Weapons - UN Pulling out Staff from Syria

Syria has started to move part of its chemical weapons arsenal out of storage facilities, according to US officials. The country's undeclared stockpiles of sarin nerve agent, mustard gas and cyanide have long worried the US officials and its allies in the region, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Western nations have looked for signs amid the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad's government of any change in the location of those weapons, believed to be the world's largest stockpile.

American officials are divided on the reason for moving the arsenal. Some fear Assad may want to use the weapons against rebels or civilians, while others said perhaps he is trying to safeguard them from his opponents.

US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland, traveling with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Phnom Penh, said: "We repeatedly made it clear that the Syrian government has a responsibility to safeguard its stockpiles of chemical weapons," adding "the international community will hold accountable any Syrian officials who fail to meet that obligation."

The Syrian government denied chemical stockpiles have been moved, the Journal said.

Syria is one of eight states -- along with Israel and nearby Egypt -- that have not joined the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention, which means the world's chemical weapons watchdog has no jurisdiction to intervene there.

The Assad government has in the past denied having weapons of mass destruction.

The development comes a day after more than 250 Syrians were reportedly killed after a village was shelled and stormed by pro-government forces.

The massacre in the Sunni Muslim village Taramseh, Hama province, would be the worst yet since a rebellion against the rule of Assad began 17 months ago.

Civilians were allegedly killed 'execution-style' with shots to the head while others were shelled by tanks and helicopter gunships as their homes were burned down.

The Revolution Leadership Council of Hama said Taramseh was subjected to a barrage before pro-government Alawite militiamen swept in and killed victims one-by-one.

There were reports of bodies scattered in the surrounding fields, rivers and houses, with around 60 corpses were taken to a mosque...

A detailed account by activists said a convoy of 25 vehicles carrying army and security forces, three armored vehicles and five trucks mounted with artillery passed west through the town of Muharda and headed toward the village of Tremseh.

One reason given for the massacre was that government troops were attempting to take back the village from opposition hands.

READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2173148/Syria-begun-moving-chemical-weapons-stockpile-storage-U-S-warns.html?ITO=1490

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Comment by guest_blog on December 4, 2012 at 10:26am

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