Experts Says Chemical Weapons Sites in Syria Cannot Be Safely Bombed

Doing so could release deadly gas


WASHINGTON—You simply can't safely bomb a chemical weapon storehouse into oblivion, experts say. That's why they say the United States is probably targeting something other than Syria's nerve agents.

But now there is concern that bombing other sites could accidentally release dangerous chemical weapons that the U.S. military didn't know were there because they've lost track of some of the suspected nerve agents.

Bombing stockpiles of chemical weapons – purposely or accidentally – would likely kill nearby civilians in an accidental nerve agent release, create a long-lasting environmental catastrophe or both, five experts told The Associated Press. That's because under ideal conditions – and conditions wouldn't be ideal in Syria – explosives would leave at least 20 to 30 percent of the poison in lethal form.