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By Mick Krever, CNN
(CNN) - The head of the opposition Free Syrian Army told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday he has intelligence showing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government is moving its chemical weapons out of the country.
"Today, we have information that the regime began to move chemical materials and chemical weapons to Lebanon and to Iraq," Gen. Salim Idriss said from inside Syria.
CNN could not independently verify Idriss' claim.
Several senior Israeli officials told CNN's Elise Labott that they have not seen movements into Lebanon or Iraq, and that they did not believe it made sense for the Syrians to be moving weapons so soon.
And Iraq categorically denied that chemical weapons had crossed into its territory, with an adviser to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki speculating "there is a political agency behind this claim."
"We were the victims of chemical weapons under Saddam's regime," said the adviser, Ali al-Moussawi. "And we will never allow to let any country to transfer chemical materials to our lands at all."
Still, if the allegation were true, it could fundamentally shift the assessments of U.S. intelligence officials, CNN's Barbara Starr reports.
Russia's plan to have Syria destroy its chemical weapons has put diplomacy, and the United Nations, front and center.
So is a diplomatic solution possible?
Not without Iran's cooperation, Jeffrey Feltman, the top UN political official, told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
Click above to see Amanpour's full interview with Feltman.
“In my mind," Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright told CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Thursday, "there is no question that the threat of the use of force is what brought this diplomatic venue into place, and what made President Putin understand that this was something that should concern them in terms of getting his client, President Assad, to in fact give up his weapons, his chemical weapons.”
Click above to watch Amanpour's interview with Albright, and find out what insight she has into Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's negotiating strategies.
By Mick Krever
The world may hardly have known of the chemical attack that occurred in Syria on August 21 were it not for the startling images that emerged in the immediate aftermath.
“The images from this massacre are sickening,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in his address on Syria this week. “Men, women, children lying in rows, killed by poison gas; others foaming at the mouth, gasping for breath; a father clutching his dead children.”
But in 1988, when Saddam Hussein gassed the Iraqi Kurdish village of Halabja, the only way for news organizations to get images of the massacre was to send their own cameramen to the scene.
Rich Brooks, one of CNN’s longest-serving photojournalists, travelled to the scene, and told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday what it was like.
“We weren't sure what we were going to see exactly,” he said. “But what I remember vividly was entering the village and just how still and silent it was. Initially, we saw birds on the ground and then we saw cattle and sheep. And then we turned a corner into a street that was just full of bodies. And you've seen it before and the smell was overwhelming.”
This October, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour will interview Malala Yousafzai, the girl who survived a Taliban assassination attempt.
CNN is holding an essay contest for a chance to meet Malala Yousafzai in New York. ENTER HERE
Tune in October 13th for a CNN Amanpour special: “The Bravest Girl in the World”
Malala Yousafzai’s education initiative, The Malala Fund, can be found here.
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