The Syrian government ordered the use chemical weapons against the Free Syrian Army (FSA) during select battles with Syrian regime forces, a defected general told Al Arabiya late Saturday.
Zahir al-Sakit, a former army general from the chemical weapons branch, told Al Arabiya that he was instructed to use chemical weapons during a regime battle with the FSA in the southwestern area of Hauran.
Instead, Sakit disobeyed the orders and substituted the chemicals with disinfectant water he called “Javel water.”
“I was given orders to execute the use of poisonous chemicals in caves and tunnels that are used by the Free Syrian Army, but I mixed all chemicals with water and used Javel water instead,” Sakit said.
He said that prior to his defection, no chemical weapons were used on his watch in battles against the FSA.
“I assure you that I ordered all chemical weapons to be buried and I can point out the exact locations of those chemicals,” Sakit told Al Arabiya.
The United States and Britain have previously accused the Syrian government of using chemical weapons in Damascus after results of the smuggled soil samples showed presence of chemicals that were used in the capital’s suburbs.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday warned Syria that using chemical weapons would be a “game changer,” after the U.S., Israel and Britain all cited signs that the regime attacked with the deadly agent sarin.
Meanwhile Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of Knesset on Sunday to refrain from voicing concern over the mounting evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria, in an effort to avoid the impression Israel is pushing the international community into armed intervention.