Assad: Syria will honor weapons deal
DAMASCUS — President Bashar Assad pledged during an interview broadcast on Monday to honor an agreement to surrender Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, but he said that rebels might try to block international arms inspectors from doing their work.
As battles continued across Syria, Associated Press video of an attack on Sunday night showed the regime's helicopters dropping barrel bombs on opposition-held areas,.
In a sign of worsening infighting among the rebels, a top al-Qaida commander in Syria was killed in an ambush by a rival, Western-backed group — an assassination sure to raise tensions among factions seeking to topple the regime.
Assad's comments were made as world leaders gathered in New York for the annual U.N. General Assembly, where the use of chemical weapons during Syria's civil war was high on the agenda.
The Syrian leader told Chinese state TV that Damascus is committed to implementing the agreement reached between Russia and the United States to surrender its chemical weapons to international control. Syria's stockpile, he said, is “in safe areas and locations and under the full control of the Syrian Arab Army.”
Assad cautioned, however, that the rebels might block inspectors from reaching some of the locations, in order to frame the government.
“I'm referring to places where gunmen exist. Those gunmen might want to stop the experts' arrival,” Assad told CCTV in the interview, which was filmed on Sunday.
Under the agreement brokered Sept. 14 in Geneva, inspectors are to be in Syria by November and all components of the chemical weapons program are to be removed from the country or destroyed by the middle of next year.
The revelations of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal became public as a result of an Aug. 21 attack near Damascus that a U.N. report found included the use of the nerve agent sarin. Hundreds of people died in the attack that brought Washington to the brink of military intervention.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Slain editor’s book condemns ‘Islamophobia’
- Pakistan could put nukes on new submarines sold by China
- Report: Iraqi security forces kill Saddam aide al Douri, but DNA will confirm
- Al-Qaida exploits chaos in Yemen, seizing weapons depot
- Iraqi PM, visiting United States, rips Saudi airstrikes in Yemen
- Afghan soldier kills 1 American soldier, wounds 2 U.S. troops
- Execution of Islamist party official sparks outrage in Bangladesh
- Sighting of schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists reported in Nigeria
- Unilateral Obama sanction relief for Iranians possible