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Daily Israel Report

Al-Qaeda Could Obtain Syrian Chemical Weapons, Jordan King Warns

King Abdullah II of Jordan warned thatin a worst case scenario al-Qaeda could obtain some of the regime’s chemical weapons.
By Rachel Hirshfeld
First Publish: 7/19/2012, 12:50 PM

Jordan's King Abdullah
Jordan's King Abdullah
Israel news photo: Flash 90

King Abdullah II of Jordan warned Wednesday that the situation in Syria is spinning out of control and in a worst case scenario al-Qaeda could obtain some of the regime’s chemical weapons.

“Our information is that there is a presence of al-Qaeda in certain regions inside Syria, and has been there for a while,” he told CNN.

“And, again, one of the worst case scenarios as we are obviously trying to look for a political solution would be if some of those chemical stockpiles were to fall into unfriendly hands,” he warned.

The Jordanian king said that while the bomb attack that killed core members of the Syrian regime was a "tremendous blow" to President Bashar al-Assad, it would not yet lead to the downfall of the regime

A bomb attack in Damascus on Wednesday killed key Syrian officials, including Defense Minister Daoud Rajha, Assad's brother-in-law Assef Shawkat and General Hassan Turkmani, head of the regime's crisis cell on the uprising.

“Definitely this shows some cracks in the system, but again, I don’t think we should jump to any conclusion writing the regime off in the near future,” he said.

“I think as we continue to pursue the political option, the realities on the ground may have overtaken us. Therefore I think the clock is ticking,” he said.

“I think we should continue to give politics its due. But if we haven’t already passed that window, I think we’re getting very close to it.” 

“If it breaks down, if civil order breaks down to the point of no return, then it will take years to fix Syria. And I have a feeling we're seeing signs of that over the past three weeks,” he warned.

“The only people that can bring us back from that brink are obviously the president and the regime. And I believe this is the last chance that they have,” he added.

The United States also expressed concern regarding Assad's chemical stockpile, warning that any official involved in its use would face the consequences.