House Intelligence Chair: Syria's Chemical Weapons Ready to Deploy

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Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they stand on a street in Aleppo's al-Amereya district December 11, 2012. Picture taken December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Aaref Hretani Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they stand on a street in Aleppo's al-Amereya district December 11, 2012. Picture taken December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Aaref Hretani

The Daily Banter Headline Grab. From Reuters:

Syria's chemical weapons could be used at "a moment's notice" and the international community should not accept any assurances from Syrian officials that they will not be used, U.S. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said on Wednesday.

U.S. and other Western officials recently issued sharp warnings to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad not to deploy chemical weapons. Syria called those warnings a "pretext for intervention" in the civil war.

Rogers, a Republican, told Reuters in an interview that the Syrian government's activities related to chemical weapons were a shift in posture and a major concern.

"I believe that they have put elements of their chemical weapons program in a condition of which they could be used at a moment's notice, which is very different from before," Rogers said.

"And some notion that they have promised not to use them, I don't think the international community ... should take that on face value," he said.

"This is a regime that's getting more desperate by the day. They have affirmatively put elements of their chemical weapon program in a position for use, that is something that we should all be concerned about."

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