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26 avril 2013 5 26 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Armes chimiques en Syrie: toutes les options sur la table

 

25 avril 2013 Romandie.com (AFP)

 

WASHINGTON - Un haut responsable américain a affirmé jeudi que toutes les options étaient sur la table dans le dossier syrien, après que la Maison Blanche eut évoqué pour la première fois le probable recours à des armes chimiques par le régime de Bachar al-Assad.

 

Ce responsable, s'exprimant sous couvert de l'anonymat, a toutefois rappelé que l'exécutif américain tenait à être absolument sûr que de telles armes avaient été utilisées avant de conclure que la ligne rouge tracée par le président Barack Obama avait été franchie par Damas.

 

Nous allons consulter de près nos amis et alliés, de façon plus large la communauté internationale ainsi que l'opposition syrienne pour déterminer quelle serait la meilleure façon d'agir, a-t-il expliqué lors d'une conférence de presse téléphonique.

 

Je ne veux pas me lancer dans des hypothèses à l'heure actuelle, mais il est évident que toutes les options sont sur la table en terme de réaction, a ajouté ce responsable.

 

Cela pourrait couvrir une large gamme d'activités (...) qui comprennent déjà des initiatives diplomatiques, une assistance à l'opposition, mais à la demande du président (Obama), il existe d'autres possibilités pour lesquelles nous nous préparons, et que nous devons prendre en considération au moment où nous déterminons si des armes chimiques ont été utilisées, a-t-il remarqué.

 

M. Obama avait mis en garde à de nombreuses reprises le régime Assad contre le recours à ses stocks d'armes chimiques, affirmant notamment le 20 mars en Israël qu'il s'agirait d'une grave et tragique erreur, et qu'un tel développement change(rait) la règle du jeu. Il avait aussi parlé de lignes rouges à ne pas franchir pour Damas.

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25 avril 2013 4 25 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Hagel Urges Caution On Syria Chemical Weapons Claims

 

Apr. 24, 2013 Defense News (AFP)

 

CAIRO — US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel urged caution Wednesday over an Israeli claim Syria’s regime used chemical weapons, saying it was “serious business” and any evidence had to be weighed carefully.

 

Warning against a possible rush to judgment, Hagel indicated he had been caught off guard by allegations from an Israeli general this week that Syria had fired chemical agents against rebels in recent months.

 

“When I was in Israel they did not give me that assessment. I guess it wasn’t complete,” Hagel told reporters in Cairo on a tour of the Middle East hat included a three-day visit to Israel.

 

The United States has warned any use or transfer of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and possibly trigger military action.

 

Britain and France also suspect Syria has used chemical weapons but Hagel said US intelligence agencies were still evaluating information and were not yet convinced.

 

“Suspicions are one thing, evidence is another,” he said.

 

The Pentagon chief added that “this is serious business and you want to be as sure as you can be on these kind of things”.

 

Asked if US credibility could be at risk as it has repeatedly referred to a “red line,” Hagel said: “I don’t think there’s any danger.”

 

The United States cooperates with other spy services but ultimately had to rely “on its own intelligence,” he said before departing for Abu Dhabi.

 

Hagel’s comments marked his first public reaction since the Israeli military’s assessment came to light.

 

While Hagel was wrapping up his visit to Israel on Tuesday morning, Israeli Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, head of the research and analysis division of military intelligence, grabbed headlines when he alleged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime had used chemical agents — mostly likely sarin gas— more than once.

 

“To the best of our professional understanding, the (Assad) regime has made use of deadly chemical weapons against the rebels in a number of incidents in the last few months,” Brun told a security conference in Tel Aviv.

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19 avril 2013 5 19 /04 /avril /2013 07:30
Enquête sur l'utilisation éventuelle d'armes chimiques

 

19.04.2013 Romandie.com (ats)

 

Des soupçons d'usage d'armes chimiques en Syrie refont surface. Quinze jours après l'appel de Ban Ki-moon à Bachar al-Assad à coopérer en la matière, les agences de renseignement américaines annoncent jeudi enquêter sur l'utilisation éventuelle d'armes chimiques par le régime syrien contre les rebelles.

 

Ces soupçons ont été évoqués par la France et le Royaume-Uni, a déclaré jeudi un haut responsable américain. Un agent chimique "très suspect" pourrait avoir été utilisé au cours de récentes batailles en Syrie, mais les services d'espionnage sont toujours en train d'évaluer ces informations et n'ont pas encore tiré de conclusion, a expliqué à l'AFP ce responsable sous couvert d'anonymat.

 

Il est possible que des armes chimiques aient été utilisées d'une manière limitée et très "localisée", et non à une large échelle, a-t-il ajouté. La semaine passée, des diplomates à l'ONU ont confié sous le couvert de l'anonymat que les pays occidentaux avaient des "preuves solides" que des armes chimiques avaient été utilisées au moins une fois dans le conflit syrien.

 

Selon le Washington Post et la revue Foreign Policy, qui citent des responsables anonymement, la France et le Royaume-Uni ont informé le secrétaire général de l'ONU Ban Ki-moon que des examens du sol, des entretiens avec des témoins et les rebelles montraient que des agents neurotoxiques avaient été utilisés dans et autour d'Alep, de Homs et peut-être à Damas.

Difficile à confirmer

 

Le responsable américain a souligné que les informations rapportées par Paris et Londres étaient étudiées sérieusement. La situation sur le terrain rend toutefois difficile la confirmation de telles allégations, ont souligné d'autres responsables et experts.

 

Mercredi, le secrétaire américain à la Défense Chuck Hagel a confirmé la position de l'administration Obama, qui considère comme une "ligne rouge" à ne pas franchir l'utilisation d'armes chimiques en Syrie. "Si le président syrien et ses subordonnés recourent aux armes chimiques ou manquent à leurs obligations de les sécuriser, il y aura des conséquences et ils seront tenus pour responsables", a déclaré M. Hagel lors d'une audition devant la commission sénatoriale des Forces armées.

 

Il y a quinze jours, le secrétaire général des Nations unies Ban Ki-Moon avait appelé la Syrie à "coopérer" avec la mission des enquêteurs de l'ONU sur les armes chimiques. Le gouvernement et l'opposition syriens s'accusent mutuellement d'utiliser de telles armes.

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17 avril 2013 3 17 /04 /avril /2013 22:19
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16 avril 2013 2 16 /04 /avril /2013 20:04
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20 décembre 2012 4 20 /12 /décembre /2012 13:54

http://www.eda.europa.eu/images/default-source/news-pictures/cbrn_400px

 

Brussels | Dec 20, 2012 European Defence Agency

 

The EDA is becoming ever more active as a focal point for European Union nations looking for technical solutions to the growing challenge of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) attacks, writes Tim Mahon in the second issue of the EDA's European Defence Matters magazine.

 

Military and civil emergency management planners face a significant and constantly evolving threat with the potential terrorist use of chemical, biological and radiological weapons. Detection and identification of agents – quickly and efficiently, to allow incident commanders to take appropriate remedial action – is the basis of efficient defence in this domain. And the EDA has responded by generating a multinational research and technology programme aimed at making that easier.

 

As a paradigm for pooling and sharing of knowledge, the current category A programme for CBRN technologies is a four-year, €12 million joint investment project aimed at examining and evaluating the next generation of technologies for detection and identification of chemical, biological and similar threats – in both military and civil environments. The project has been running since 2010 and is moving rapidly towards its second highly active phase.

 

Alignment with European Commission

 

“We are aiming far beyond the current status quo – for the next generation of technologies,” said Gerlof De Wilde, EDA’s Assistant Director for Research and Technology and the programme’s project manager, adding that this means harnessing and deploying technologies beyond the 2015 timeframe. Although on the surface the programme differs little from other research and technology (R&T) projects in the Agency’s remit, in fact there are some characteristics of the CBRN joint investment programme that set it apart.

 

“One of the specific characteristics of this project is that we are aligning our work with that of the European Commission in this area,” said De Wilde. Cooperation with the European Commission’s framework research programme has focused on detection and identification of chemical and biological agents and should empower better use of resources which will inevitably lead to more far-reaching results, in De Wilde’s view. “We have agreed the objectives and procedures – this is the first mature action in which we have done this – have been involved in joint workshops and are conducting joint evaluation at every stage,” he said.

 

Broad involvement of Member States

 

The Agency’s programme is thus being supported by 13 member states – Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, France, Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Norway. The first call for proposals resulted in 22 separate submissions being made from industry, academia and research institutes, which are now being evaluated with contracts to be let before the end of this year, according to De Wilde. The first call focused on technologies for detection and identification, modelling and simulation of CBRN architectures and methodologies for handling a broad spectrum of unknown samples, an area in which De Wilde says there is a significant capability gap. The second call for proposals, due to take place in the spring of 2013, will focus on next generation decontamination for personal and collective protection.

 

Nations have serious concerns about the need for adequate detection and diagnostic capabilities for potential CBRN threats. Although over 150 nations subscribe to treaties governing the non-proliferation of such weapons, there are significant evolving threats involving non-state actors. "After all, terrorists (for example) don't care about treaties," said De Wilde. Combined with the effects of budget constraints and pressure on limited resources, these concerns mean that an opportunity to pool and share in the development of a next generation response to these threats is attractive to many nations.

 

Technical challenges

 

The technical challenges are complex. Detection needs to be quick, accurate and tied to a fast-time simulation model which can assess the spread of the threat in a given environment. The result is that the next generation of detection technologies will feature a high degree of automation. The capability to evaluate mixed samples is something that simply does not exist in a robust format today, according to De Wilde.

 

Improvements in modelling and simulation – in which the Agency has proposed use of software it developed under the BIOEDEP programme – will also provide CBRN professionals with vastly improved capability.

 

In a challenging and politically sensitive area of research and technology, EDA’s CBRN programme is resonating with a broad spectrum of community members. Perhaps the single most important outcome to date, however, has been the recognition of the benefits accruing to contributing members, especially from the collaboration with non-military research with the European Commission. “We have become part of a broader family with this project and it promises to become a true generator of useful and exploitable knowledge,” said De Wilde.

More information:
  • To learn more about EDA's BioEDEP programme, click here
  • To access the second issue of the EDA's European Defence Matters magazine, click here.
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19 mai 2011 4 19 /05 /mai /2011 13:00
Interpol launches nuclear terror prevention unit

May 19th, 2011 DEFENCE TALK – AFP

 

Interpol on Wednesday announced the creation of a nuclear terrorism prevention unit to counter a threat "facing all" nations.

 

Interpol said the new team would "crucially " expand Interpol's anti-bioterrorism activities to take in Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNe) threats.

 

This will be done "using an integrated approach that leverages international partnerships and expertise across all sectors," said the international organisation during a conference at its headquarters in Lyon, France.

 

"Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble said such an integrated approach recognised" the CBRNe threat facing all of Interpol's 188 member countries.

 

He said the destructive capacity the atom can unleash, as highlighted by the recent nuclear crisis in Japan and the 1986 Chernobyl incident, "was not lost on those who sought to use it to instill terror and threaten innocent lives."

 

Interpol said the key objective of the new Radiological and Nuclear Terrorism Prevention Unit was "to build police capacity globally to prevent the next bioterrorist attack."

 

In 2005 Interpol and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) launched project Geiger to collect exhaustive data on the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radiological materials and evaluate the threat posed.

 

The project logged 2,500 such smuggling cases, according to Interpol.

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