By Jim Miklaszewski and M. Alex Johnson, NBC NewsThe
Syrian military is prepared to use chemical weapons against its own
people and is awaiting final orders from President Bashar Assad, U.S.
officials told NBC News on Wednesday.
The military has loaded the precursor chemicals for
sarin, a deadly nerve gas, into aerial bombs that could be dropped onto
the Syrian people from dozens of fighter-bombers, the officials said. As
recently as Tuesday, officials had said there was as yet no evidence
that the process of mixing the "precursor" chemicals had begun. But
Wednesday, they said their worst fears had been confirmed: The nerve
agents were locked and loaded inside the bombs.Sarin is an
extraordinarily lethal agent. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's forces
killed 5,000 Kurds with a single sarin attack on Halabja in 1988.
U.S. officials stressed that as of now, the sarin bombs hadn'
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