SYRIA: To Destroy Our Chemical Weapons We Need One Year And One Billion Dollars - Assad

SYRIA: To Destroy Our Chemical Weapons We Need One Year And One Billion Dollars - Assad

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he supports the idea to destroy his country's chemical weapons arsenal but warned it could take about a year and would required $1 billion.

The Syria disarmament plan was revealed by the US and Russia last weekend. The West insists that the deal should be enshrined in a UN resolution backed by the threat of military force, but Russia objects.

Speaking to Fox News, Assad said the liquidation of Syria's chemical weapons would be "a very complicated operation, technically. "And it needs a lot of money, some estimates (say) about a billion." He added that this could take more than a year.

When asked if he would agree to hand over chemical weapons to the US, President Assad said:

"It needs about one billion. It is very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is ready to pay this money and take the responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don't they do it?"

Assad again kept denying claims that his forces were responsible for a deadly gas attack near Damascus on 21 August.

Also yesterday, Russian diplomats stated yesterday that UN's report on a poison gas attack in Syria, that Western nations said proved President Bashar al-Assad's forces were responsible, was biased and politicized. They said they would present evidence, provided to them by Assad, that rebels were behind the attack.

Meanwhile, fierce fighting has been reported between two rebel groups in the north of Syria. Activists said the fighting began when jihadists from the al-Qaeda-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), and fighters from the Western-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) clashed in the town of Azaz, near the Turkish border. This is believed to be one of the biggest confrontations so far between the jihadists and the FSA.  


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