DAMASCUS, Syria, April 28 (UPI) -- A former Syrian army general who defected said he was ordered by the regime to use chemical weapons against the Free Syrian Army rebels.
In an interview with the pan-Arab network al-Arabiya Saturday, Zahir al-Sakit said he refused an order to use chemical weapons against the rebels in the southern western area of Hauran and swapped the chemicals with disinfected 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 the chemicals with water and used Javel water instead," he said.
He did not reveal when the incident occurred. However, Haaretz said al-Sakit defected from the Syrian army to the rebel forces in March. The newspaper noted that at the time of his defection he failed to mention the chemical weapons incident.
The former general who once served in the Syrian army's chemical weapons branch said no chemical weapons were used against FSA forces on his watch.
"I assure you that I ordered all the chemical weapons to be buried and I can point out the exact location of those chemicals," he said.