Syria's Chemical Weapons

Source: Getty
TV/Radio Broadcast BBC Wales
Syria is widely believed to possess weapons of mass destruction, in particular a large chemical weapons arsenal.
Related Media and Tools

Carnegie's Paul Schulte spoke to BBC Wales about the situation in Syria, where 40,000 people have died since the uprising began in March last year. Schulte pointed out that it is very widely believed that Syria possesses weapons of mass destruction and that the United States claims to have sufficient intelligence on specific chemicals.

"It's most likely that they [Syria] have a quite large chemical arsenal because they have been doing this over a number of years, and even apparently in the last few months they have been trying to build up their stocks," Schulte said, adding that the chemicals in the arsenal would "be in different stages of preparation."

But the new news, Schulte pointed out, is that specific chemicals are being brought together to make an extremely modern and potent nerve gas called sarin. "We might be entering an endgame of a civil war in which atrocity becomes almost unavoidable because of the fear of reprisals," said Schulte, adding that "nobody is very attracted by the idea of getting drawn into a Syrian civil war."

To Schulte, the deployment of Patriot missile batteries along the Turkish border with Syria is about reassuring the Turks who "are in the front line of this very difficult situation." "It's a way of NATO emphasizing its solidarity," Schulte concluded.

End of document

About the Nuclear Policy Program

The Carnegie Nuclear Policy Program is an internationally acclaimed source of expertise and policy thinking on nuclear industry, nonproliferation, security, and disarmament. Its multinational staff stays at the forefront of nuclear policy issues in the United States, Russia, China, Northeast Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East.


In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

Stay in the Know

Enter your email address to receive the latest Carnegie analysis in your inbox!

Personal Information
Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20036-2103 Phone: 202 483 7600 Fax: 202 483 1840
Please note...

You are leaving the website for the Carnegie-Tsinghua Center for Global Policy and entering a website for another of Carnegie's global centers.