The bulk of Bashar Assad’s chemical arsenal is still in the hands of his army. The US and Russia turned down his request for military assistance to transfer his stockpile from Damascus to the port of Latakia on its way to destruction at sea. For the first time in three years, Assad directly applied to Washington through intelligence channels to ask for US military protection for the transfer to Latakia. It was denied. He missed the Wednesday deadline for the handover of his poison weapons to the UN Chemical Weapons Organization and, unless the road is secured, he will miss next deadline of March 1.