German Press Predicts Syrian Civil War Will Cause Chaos in Middle East
Fighting has intensified between Syrian rebels and President Assad’s forces, while international tensions are high after the regime signalled it would deploy chemical weapons against any foreign intervention. Assad is likely to fall soon, and the outcome could be chaos in the region, German editorials warn.
After an intense week of fighting, clashes between rebel forces and those loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad continued on Tuesday in the capital Damascus and in Aleppo, the country’s most populous city, where rebels have staged a major offensive in recent days. The deadly 16-month conflict has escalated significantly following last week’s bombing attack that killed a number of Assad’s top advisors, including his defense minister and top military commander.
On Monday, Syrian officials warned they would deploy chemical weapons in the event of any “external aggression.” Western leaders have warned the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad against any such attack. One day later, a spokesman for Syria’s Foreign Ministry assured that such weapons would never be used against Syria’s own citizens and that they would only be deployed in the event of a foreign incursion.
But the threat made by Syria on Monday is also an indirect acknowledgment that the country does indeed have chemical weapons as has long been suspected. The CIA noted in a report last year that Syria is believed to have a chemical weapons stockpile “which can be delivered by aerial bombs, ballistic missiles and artillery rockets.” Concerns are growing in the international community that, amidst the chaos in the country, that chemical weapons might fall into the wrong hands. Concerned the weapons might reach Hezbollah, the militant Lebanese group aligned with Syria and Iran, Israel is even publicly weighing the possibility of military action.