Saturday, July 19 2014 10:01 AM EDT2014-07-19 14:01:27 GMT
Activists say Syrian government forces have launched a counter-attack to recapture a gas field seized by Islamic extremists, as the death toll from three days of fighting rises to more than 200.More >>
Syrian government forces have launched a counter-attack to recapture a gas field seized by Islamic extremists, activists said Saturday, as the death toll from three days of fighting there rose to more than 200 people killed.More >>
Friday, July 18 2014 2:29 PM EDT2014-07-18 18:29:45 GMT
Across the broad swath of territory it controls bridging Syria and Iraq, extremist militants from the group known as the Islamic State have proven to be highly organized administrators. Flush with cash, they fix...More >>
Across the broad swath of territory they control bridging Syria and Iraq, extremist militants from the group known as the Islamic State have proven to be highly organized administrators. Flush with cash, they fix roads,...More >>
Friday, July 18 2014 12:40 PM EDT2014-07-18 16:40:50 GMT
Activists say some 100 soldiers, guards and employees were killed when jihadis seized a gas field in central Syria on Thursday.More >>
Islamic extremists killed at least 115 Syrian troops, guards and workers as they captured a gas field in central Syria following daylong clashes, activists said Friday.More >>
(CNN) – With the U.S. backing off its push for military action in Syria, world leaders are watching to see if the Damascus regime will give up its chemical weapons stockpile.
But there's a lot of skepticism out there as well, about whether the proposal is realistic, or feasible.
While officials in Damascus, Tehran and Moscow gushed about a deal that could avert a U.S. military strike on Syria, a virtual avalanche of questions left it smothered in doubt. One Israeli expert said it amounted to a "mission impossible."
"For the moment is seems like a mission impossible, in the conditions in which the Syrian conflict finds itself just now," said Ely Karmon, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. "First of all, a cease fire between the two forces, then both sides have to withdraw to allow inspectors to come in and verify where the weapons and the facilities are."
Even if Syria accepted a cease-fire, there are serious doubts that the rebels would go along.
"The solution may be a good idea but, and it's a big "but" - the technicalities," said Col. Yoni Fighel, International Institute for Counter-Terrorism. "As much as this offer is tempting on the surface of it, the Russians are not being regarded as honest brokers."
An Israeli research institute has compiled a detailed list of Syria's chemical production sites, five major facilities, but experts say there are dozens more sites and Syria's suspected one thousand tons of chemical agents have been disbursed.
Someone, most likely, the U.N., would have to oversee any operation. But there's even a harsher reality, the timeline.
"It's a very long-term solution, at least in my opinion, taking into account the huge arsenal…at least three to four years," said Karmon.
Remember Iraq. U.N. inspectors spent years searching out Saddam Hussein's chemical stockpile, eventually gathering rockets, artillery and raw chemicals at a sprawling desert site called Mouthanna. Iraq may have had more chemical arms, but the inspectors weren't working in the crossfire of conflict.