Jordan taking 'all necessary measures' in event of Syria chemical attack: report


A Syrian flag flutters outside a military barrack in the devastated Bab Amro neighbourhood of the central restive city of Homs on May 2, 2012.


Joseph Eid

Jordan's foreign minister today said the country was mobilizing in case chemical weapons are used in neighboring Syria, the Associated Press reported, raising fresh concerns that the country's recently-moved chemical weapons stockpile will indeed be put to use. 

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Syria suddenly began moving its chemical weapons out of storage facilities earlier this week, reported the Wall Street Journal. Its reason for doing so is as of yet unclear.

The statement from Jordan also comes a day after Syria's ex-ambassador to Iraq, Nawaf Fares, told BBC News President Bashar al-Assad "would use such weapons" if he thought it necessary to crush the armed insurrection against his rule, a conflict that activist say has taken the lives of 17,000 people. 

Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh today told reporters that the chemical weapons issue is of "grave concern to us, and we have taken all necessary measures to confront that." He did not elaborate on what those measures were, said AP

Damascus and Amman have long held one another at arm's length. Relations have broken down even more since the unrest in Syria first began last March, sending a flood of Syrian refugees over the border and into neighboring Jordan. 

The country has taken in nearly 27,000 Syrian asylum seekers since March 2011, according to Human Rights Watch