partlycloudy
Friday July 3rd, 2015 1:28PM

Panetta says Syria moved some chemical weapons

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Intelligence suggests the Syrian government has moved some of its chemical weapons in order to protect them, but the U.S. believes that the main sites remain secure, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Friday, indicating there are lingering questions about what exactly happened to some of the weapons.

It was the first time Panetta confirmed that U.S. officials believe there have been multiple "limited" movements of the chemical weapons, but he said Syrian officials were relocating them in order to better secure them.

"There has been intelligence that there have been some moves that have taken place. Where exactly that's taken place, we don't know," Panetta told reporters. "I don't have any specific information about the opposition and whether or not they've obtained some of this or how much they've obtained and just exactly what's taken place."

Asked specifically if there was any belief that the Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard or the rebel forces have been able to get possession of any of the weapons, Panetta appeared to leave the door open to that possibility, saying he has no "firm information to confirm that that's taken place."

He said the U.S. has monitored the main sites and determined that they are still secure.

There have been ongoing concerns that the opposition forces battling the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad or other militant forces in the country may get their hands on the weapons caches.

It is widely believed that Syria possesses extensive chemical and biological weapons stockpiles and it has threated to use them if the country comes under attack.

President Barack Obama has declared that the threat of chemical or biological warfare in Syria is a "red line" for the U.S., and has warned that the U.S. will not tolerate it if the weapons fall into the wrong hands. He said there would be enormous consequences if the U.S. sees any movement or use of the weapons.

Panetta was speaking at a news conference with Canadian Minister of National Defense Peter MacKay.
© Copyright 2015 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Doctors: Blood clot located in Clinton's head
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton developed a blood clot in her head but did not suffer a stroke or neurological damage, her doctors said Monday. They say they are confident that she will make a full recovery.
3:55PM ( 2 years ago )
Illinois Sen. Kirk to return a year after stroke
Nearly a year after a stroke left him barely able to move the left side of his body, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is expected to climb the 45 steps to the Senate's front door this week - a walk that's significant not just for Illinois' junior senator, but also for medical researchers and hundreds of thousands of stroke patients.
3:54PM ( 2 years ago )
U.S. News
Federal report: Polar bears in peril due to global warming
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Polar bears are at risk of dying off if humans don't reverse the trend of global warming, a blunt U.S. government report filed Thursday said."The single most important step fo...
8:25PM ( 17 hours ago )
The Latest on train derailment: 5,000 evacuated in Tennessee
MARYVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — 6 p.m.An official in eastern Tennessee says smoke has stopped rising from the site where a CSX train car derailed and caught fire, forcing the evacuation of thousands of reside...
6:05PM ( 19 hours ago )
Obama draws sharp contrasts with 'mean' Republicans
LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Wading into presidential politics, President Barack Obama on Thursday promoted his brand of middle-class economics by drawing sharp contrasts with "mean" Republicans in a state...
5:36PM ( 19 hours ago )
Jim Webb, Iraq war critic in Senate, running for president
WASHINGTON (AP) — Jim Webb, a decorated Vietnam veteran and accomplished novelist who became a fierce critic of the Iraq war in the Senate, announced Thursday that he's challenging Hillary Rodham Clin...
5:08PM ( 20 hours ago )
Top Republican doubts Senate will confirm ambassador to Cuba
WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that his chamber is unlikely to approve an American ambassador to Cuba, dishing out a quick rebuff to President Barack Obama and...
4:28PM ( 20 hours ago )