With reports that rebel forces launched a chemical weapons attack in Syria on Tuesday, the U.S must make sure such deadly munitions never cross the borders into the hands of terrorists, says John Bolton, former Ambassador to the United Nations.
“We’ve got to up our intelligence and we’ve got to be prepared to work with Turkey and Israel and Jordan, who would be very concerned about this thing,’’ Bolton told Newsmax TV’s “The Steve Malzberg Show.’’
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“And if it looks like they’re moving toward the borders, then we’ve got to intercept them … It’s not a pleasant alternative but if you imagine 9/11 with chemical weapons, we should be prepared to take some risks.’’
News of the attack, which came on the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, was denied by the rebels who insisted the government started the violence.
There were also reports of 26 people dying, but U.S. officials have, so far, said there is no indication that chemical weapons were used.
But Bolton said he was not surprised at such a report, either true of false.
“This is nothing new,’’ Bolton said, adding he doesn’t expect President Barack Obama to take immediate action.
“He is leaving to go to Israel and Jordan, so he’s going into a region where these chemical weapons are present and may have been used,’’ Bolton said.
“[But] I’d be very surprised if they do anything about it. It’s possible, but our real objective at this point … the major American interest is in making sure these chemical weapons do not get out of Syria into the hands of terrorists for use worldwide.
Bolton said it is hard to envision what the United States can do inside Syria “without a major military presence that would be inadvisable.
“We’ve had the wrong policy underway for two years and you can’t correct that overnight, so our real redline has got to be those weapons do not exit Syria.’’
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