Whether the Free Syrian Army is organized, official or still in the planning stages, one opinion is common throughout the “ranks”. Assad will never surrender his chemical stockpile or reveal where he is hiding the deadly weapons.
Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat believes that while Assad may be honest about the current locations of chemical stockpiles in the country, he does not believe those stockpiles will remain at those locations. In fact, in a report by CNN, Sakat claimed that the regime is transporting the material to four other locations in the country that have been kept secret. He even suggests that some of the material may be transported to Lebanon and Iraq.
Other leaders have suggested the same claims in previous interviews. Just days after the UN Security Council adopted a final resolution to dispose of the chemical weapons, news of possible secrecy or transport could violate agreements.
Sakat claims that a recent convoy of large trucks was monitored moving in the direction of Iraq. He stated that the convoy was not attacked “so as not to spread chemical weapons or agents.”
Prior to his defection, Sakat claims to have been ordered to use Phosgene against civilians. Phosgene is a chemical that causes respiratory problems and was first used in World War I. While he followed through with his orders, he claims to have replaced the agent with bleach and buried the chemical in the ground.
Sakat described his experience with how the chemical agents were and possible are still being used.
“First, the non-lethal harassing agents that were used in the beginning of the protests and were fired by automatic weapons and bombs to disperse the protesters.
“Then, incapacitating agents that were used in land mines, which would produce a cloud of gas that spreads in an area, harming civilians.”
“Then lethal agents such as sarin and VX [that] were used, loaded into mortar shells, cruise missiles and the weapon bays of fighter jets.”
Sakat I currently resides out of the country as he has become a target for assassination by the Syrian government due to his disclosures in the conflict.