Western countries were keeping an eye on Syria’s chemical weapons, and teams on the ground were supposed to be monitoring them.
“There have been teams on the ground in Syria that were supposed to be monitoring the stockpiles of chemical weapons,” said Kerry Patton, an expert on terrorism and intelligence, and author of “Contracted: America’s Secret Warriors.”
As a former U.S. operative who currently teaches counterterrorism, intelligence, and protection management courses at Henley-Putnam University, Patton maintains contacts in the intelligence and special operations forces community.
He said that according to his sources, the U.K. was the main country in charge of monitoring Syria’s chemical weapons, yet the task of monitoring some caches were contracted to locals.
“I’ve been informed that some of those stockpiles were contracted out to locals to keep eyes and ears on them, to secure them,” he said. According to Patton it’s not uncommon that such work is contracted to locals.
While the West was trying to monitor Syria’s chemical weapon caches, it is not known how many the Assad regime possesses.
According to an Aug. 20 report from the Congressional Research Service, “The regime of President Bashar al Asad reportedly has stocks of nerve (sarin, VX) and blister (mustard gas) agents, possibly weaponized into bombs, shells, and missiles, and associated production facilities.”