Don't need chemical arms to deter Israel: Assad

Damascus, Sep 27 (IANS/AKI) Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his government possesses non-chemical weapons that are so sophisticated they they could "blind" Israel anytime.

"During the 1980s, we manufactured chemical weapons as a deterrent to nuclear-armed Israel," Assad was quoted as saying by Lebanese daily al-Akhbar Thursday.

"Now these are no longer a deterrent. Today, we have more important and sophisticated weapons capable of blinding Israel in an instant," he said.

The real objective of the US and its allies is not Syria's chemical weapons arsenal but to alter the regional balance of power and protect Israel, Assad added.

Assad said that Syria's decision to hand over its chemical weapons to the international community to be destroyed has caused Washington and other capitals "embarrassment".

"Now the ball is in their court," Assad said.

"We have thousands of tonnes of chemical weapons, which are a burden for us. Destroying them would cost us a huge amount of money and time," he added.




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