The US and its allies are discussing a worst-case scenario that could require up to 60,000 ground troops to go into Syria to secure chemical and biological weapons sites following the fall of the Assad government, an unnamed American source said Thursday night, Aug.16.
This scenario postulates the disintegration of his security forces, he said, leaving chemical and biological weapons sites vulnerable to pillaging. It assumes the sites could not be destroyed by aerial bombings in view of health and environmental hazards.
“There is no imminent plan to deploy ground forces,” the source insisted. This is just a worst-case scenario.
DEBKAfile’s military sources find in this disclosure a bid to psychologically prepare the world for the prospect of chemical warfare, as the dialogue between Bashar Assad and his neighbors gains in violence.
The American special forces deployed on the Jordanian-Syrian border and in bases in Israel and Turkey clearly perceive a chemical-biological weapon threat. Military and medical preparations are being quietly put in place. Reconnaissance teams from potentially targeted countries have infiltrated Syria. They are on the lookout for any chemical missiles being moved into firing positions, although it is taken into account that Assad may be shifting decoys and that not all the real launchings can be stopped.
The Syrian ruler may also decide to transfer chemical explosives to Hizballah in Lebanon. Israel is on record as warning it would prevent this.