Accession Number ADA584554
Title Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress.
Publication Date Dec 2012
Media Count 14p
Personal Author A. Feickert M. B. Nikitin P. K. Kerr
Abstract The use or loss of control of chemical weapons stocks in Syria could have unpredictable consequences for the Syrian population and neighboring countries as well as U.S. allies and forces in the region. Congress may wish to assess the Administration s plans to respond to possible scenarios involving the use, change of hands, or loss of control of Syrian chemical weapons. Syria has produced, stored, and weaponized chemical weapons, but it remains dependent on foreign suppliers for chemical precursors. The regime of President Bashar al Asad reportedly has stocks of nerve (sarin, VX) and blister (mustard gas) agents, possibly weaponized into bombs, shells, and missiles, and associated production facilities. Chemical weapons and their agents can deteriorate depending on age and quality. Little is known from open sources about the current size and condition of the stockpile. Syria continues to attempt to procure new supplies of chemical weapons precursors, which are dual-use, through front companies in third countries. Most countries that have had chemical weapons arsenals in the past have destroyed these weapons under the Chemical Weapons Convention, or are in the process of destroying them. The U.S. intelligence community cites Iran, North Korea, and Syria as having active chemical weapons programs. While the United States and other governments have said they believe the Asad regime has secured chemical weapons, policymakers are concerned about what could happen to these weapons in the course of the civil war, such as diversion to terrorist groups or loss of control during a regime collapse. The Syrian government has said it would keep the weapons secure, and would not use its chemical weapons on its own people, but only against external aggression. Reports in early December 2012 quoted unnamed officials as saying intelligence showed possible preparations for use, but this was denied by the Syrian government.
Keywords Army facilities
Chemical ordnance
Congress
Destruction
Dual mode
Gases
Guided missiles
North korea
Supplies
Syria
Terrorism
United states government
Vx agent


 
Source Agency Non Paid ADAS
NTIS Subject Category 92 - Behavior & Society
74D - Chemical, Biological, & Radiological Warfare
Corporate Author Congressional Research Service, Washington, DC.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note Congressional rept.
NTIS Issue Number 1402
Contract Number N/A

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