SHAHEEN: CHEMICAL WEAPONS IN SYRIA MUST BE SECUREDJuly 13, 2012
(Washington, D.C.) – U.S Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Services Committees, issued the following statement in response to reports that Syria is relocating its stockpile of chemical weapons:
“I am greatly concerned about reports that have surfaced of Syria’s relocation of its chemical weapons arsenal. Syria has one of the largest chemical weapons programs in the world, and any decision to move these weapons in the midst of a deadly and brutal crackdown carries chilling implications. The Assad regime must understand this clearly: the world will hold them accountable if these weapons fall into the wrong hands, or if they are used against Syria’s people. Now it is more important than ever for the international community, including Russia and China, to come together to seek a resolution to the deadly conflict in Syria.”
Shaheen has repeatedly pressed for U.S. officials to maintain great vigilance over the security of Syria’s chemical arsenal. She joined a bipartisan letter to the Secretaries of State and Defense in February highlighting her concern that a collapse of the Assad regime could lead to the uncontrolled spread of both chemical weapons and shoulder-fired missiles capable of bringing down commercial jets. She reiterated those concerns at a hearing in March with U.S. commanders in the region, and again at a second hearing with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta. These efforts follow on similar efforts Shaheen led last year to highlight the danger of weapons proliferation following the fall of Gadhafi in Libya.
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