Syrian President Bashar Assad still has hundreds of tons of chemical weapons according to former Syrian Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who served as head of chemical warfare in the 5th Army Division before defecting in 2013.
Syria ostensibly handed over its chemical arsenal in a 2014 deal with between the UN, the US, Russia and the Syrian regime.
However, according to al-Sakat in an interview with The Telegraph, Assad did not turn over his entire stockpile and still maintains a sizable amount.
“The regime turned over 1,300 tons, but in reality, it possesses twice that amount,” said al-Sakat. “The total amount was at least 2,000 tons, of which several hundred tons were sarin gas.”
Despite the allegations that the Assad regime still maintains a massive chemical arsenal, al-Sakat claims the Syrians are no longer producing chemical weapons since the 2014 deal. “They don’t need any more; they have all they need already.”
According to al-Sakat, tons of chemicals were transported to heavily fortified bases in mountains outside Homs and the port city of Tartus, where the Syrians and Russians have their largest military base.
The former general also alleged that the order to use chemical weapons could have only come from Assad himself, who al-Sakat said had only become more brazen after the US failed to act when he crossed Barack Obama’s “red line.”
According to the telegraph, al-Sakat claims he was instructed to carry out three chemical attacks in places where demonstrations against Assad had been carried out. However, he attempted to dilute the chemicals with water and bleach before the regime became suspicious due to the low casualties.
After his son was arrested and tortured, al-Sakat paid for his release and fled the country where he joined the Free Syrian Army.
“I could not stand and watch the genocide. I couldn’t hurt my own people,” he said.