Baird concerned about Syrian chemical attack
The Canadian PressTuesday, December 11, 2012
OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is expressing "grave and deep concern" about the possibility of a chemical weapons attack in Syria.
But U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta says the latest intelligence suggests the threat of such an attack might just be slowing down.
The Canadian Press has learned that the two, specialized Canadian Forces response teams that reportedly could be called to respond to a chemical weapons attack in Syria have yet to receive any warning orders to deploy.
Multiple senior defence sources say neither the Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) nor the Canadian Joint Incident Response Unit — which handles chemical, biological and nuclear incidents — have been put on notice to move.
Baird says the threat of a chemical weapons attack would be "top of mind" at the big international meeting in Morocco this week involving more than 110 countries and the Syrian opposition.
But Panetta says the latest intelligence about Syria's most recent chemical weapons movements has levelled off.