Goodspeed Analysis: Syria a chemical weapon ‘powder keg ready to explode,’ experts fear (2)

While United Nations officials said Tuesday that more than 8,000 people have died in a year of political unrest in Syria, some experts fear the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime may actually be worse than the threat of all-out civil war.

The sudden demise of Syria’s dictator has the potential to expose the Middle East and the world to a massive new threat from chemical and biological weapons.

Syria has been stockpiling chemical and biological weapons of mass destruction since the late 1970s and is widely believed to possess one of the world’s largest inventories of mustard blister agent, sarin nerve gas and possibly VX nerve agent.

“The country is a chemical powder keg ready to explode,” says a report released last week by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

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