Federal Government has started the evacuation of Nigerians from Syria amid security report released by the United States.
The US which claimed in the security report that the August 21 attack was masterminded by the Syrian President, Bashar al-Asad, said it was convinced that it had no bearing of the opposition.
Syria is currently under a threat of possible attack from the United States for the alleged use of chemical weapons which reportedly led to the death of many civilians, including women and children.
Speaking with journalists after the opening of a 10-day reciprocal training of young Nigerians and Swiss career diplomats, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhoimoibhi, said Nigeria was prepared to protect its citizens.
He said, “We have asked our embassy to arrange for Nigerians to have a safe passage and this has been on for years. We don’t have too many Nigerians there now any more. The embassy itself has since relocated the large chunk of its staff and only a few number is still left. So, this is not happening today, it has been on for at least two years. So everyone is ready for the situation as it evolves.”
Asked if Nigeria would back military action against Syria, Uhoimoibhi said Nigeria would be guided by the decision of the United Nations.
“Why would you be asking me the Nigeria military position? That is not mine to determine. We are very proud members of the United Nations, we are all signatories to the appropriate convention and I am sure Nigeria’s action will be determined by what the UN says and every member of the UN will want to see that chemical weapons are not made weapons of war,” he added.
Meanwhile, the US has released details of the alleged use of chemical weapons by Syria which reportedly led to the death of many civilians, including women and children.
In a security report posted on its website on Monday, the US Embassy in Nigeria also claimed that Syria used a nerve agent in the attack carried out in the Damascus suburbs on August 21.
“These all-source assessments are based on human, signals, and geospatial intelligence as well as a significant body of open source reporting. Our classified assessments have been shared with the US Congress and key international partners. To protect sources and methods, we cannot publicly release all available intelligence”, it added.
The embassy, however, released what it called “an unclassified summary of the US Intelligence Community’s analysis of what took place.”