Syrian President Bashar Assad still possesses hundreds of tons of chemical agents which he hid from the international community, a former Syrian general who specialized in chemical warfare told the Telegraph Friday. Brig. Gen. Zaher al-Sakat, who defected from Assad’s forces in 2013 and currently resides in an undisclosed European country, told the newspaper the Syrian leader had deceived United Nations inspectors sent into the country to destroy his chemical stockpiles.

Assad had agreed to turn in his entire chemical weapons inventory in 2013 when the US threatened military action after hundreds were killed in a deadly chemical attack on opposition-held suburbs of Damascus. But Sakat, who was head of chemical warfare in the Syrian army’s Fifth Division, has long claimed that Assad secretly held on to much of his stash. And after an April 4 suspected chemical attack killed at least 87 people, the defector has said the regime still has hundreds of tons of chemicals at hand. READ MORE