On the trail of WMD
Proof of cooperation between Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction was brought to light Monday in a Jane’s Defence Weekly report that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed in a July 23 accident in Syria.
According to the report, cited by Channel 10, the joint Syrian-Iranian team was attempting to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile when the explosion occurred, spreading lethal chemical agents, including sarin nerve gas.
Reports of the accident were circulated at the time; however, no details were released by the Syrian government, and there were no hints of an Iranian connection.
The report comes on the heels of criticism leveled by the Syrians at the United States, accusing it of spreading "false" claims of Syrian nuclear activity and cooperation with North Korea to excuse an alleged Israeli air incursion over the country this month.
According to globalsecurity.org, Syria is not a signatory of either the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC), – an international agreement banning the production, stockpiling or use of chemical weapons – or the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).
Syria began developing chemical weapons in 1973, just before the Yom Kipper War. Globalsecurity.org cites the country as having one of the most advanced chemical weapons programs in the Middle East.
I wonder whether some of those chemical weapons came from Iraq. Incidentally, there was an earlier report from London Times about Israeli jets attacking shipment of nuclear materials from North Korea to Syria (via LGF):
IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.
At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.
Amid reports in the American media that the alleged Israeli raid into Syria 10 days ago targeted a North Korean-Syrian nuclear facility, John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, told The Jerusalem Post over the weekend that "simple logic" suggested North Korea and Iran could have outsourced nuclear development "to a country that is not under suspicion" – namely Syria. Tellingly, he added: "Why would North Korea protest an Israeli strike on Syria?"
Bolton suggested that Syria, which he said has long sought a range of weapons of mass destruction, might have agreed to provide "facilities for uranium enrichment" on its territory for two allied countries which are being closely watched for nuclear development.
Bolton said he was also struck by the "hesitant way" in which Damascus had complained to the United Nations Security Council. "They have not pushed as hard as I know they know how to do in New York for condemnation. They have still not explained the nature of the attack. If it had been an attack on a Syrian military facility or civilians, they would have no problem explaining."
I am a World War 2 history buff. So, I can’t get over a feeling that it is 1939 all over again.
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