Thursday, September 27, 2007

Syria Exposed

Chemical Exposure

Jane's Defense Weekly reported, in its September 26th issue, that a "mysterious" explosion in the Syrian city of Aleppo last July was the explosion was in fact a rocket fuel accident at a plant where scud missiles were being fitted with chemical warheads - of the mustard gas variety.

Reported dead in the incident, at the time, were 15 Syrian soliers, along with 50 others injured. Added to this figure, Jane's Defense Weekly claimed the death and/or injury of "dozens" of Iranian engineers working on the project at the base.

The magazine's sources, listed as members of the Syrian opposition, argued that the explanation given by the Syrian regime for the explosion - that of a sudden rise in temperatures having a destabilizing effect on a weapons depot - was implausible, given that the explosion occurred at 4:30 am, when temperatures would still be cool.

The article went on to outline the Iranian government's aid to Syria in helping it plan, establish, and manage five chemical weapons development facilities. Facilities meant to produce the weapons on an "industrial scale".

It also claimed that an Iranian chemical manufacturer, the identity of which was known to the magazine Jane's and with connections to the Islamic republic's defence industry, had been involved in a number of deals, since 2004, with a Syrian firm with links to the military.

The deals are said to have involved the importation of "hundreds of tonnes of sodium sulphide, hydrochloric acid and ethylene glycol-MEG from Iran" which can be used to produce mustard gas and Sarin nerve gas.


Radiation Exposure

Meanwhile, speculation surrounding that other, more recent, explosion in the Syrian desert continues to run rampant.

In a recent twist, the London-based Times Online has reported that the incident, which according to its sources involved an Israeli air raid on a North Korean-supplied nuclear facility in Syria, was preceded by a top-secret Isreali commando infiltration of the facility in which evidence of Pyong-Yang's complicity, and proof of the presence of nuclear material, was recovered.

The evidence, according to the report, was then shared with American administration officials, prompting them to greenlight the Israeli strike operation.

The foreign-based Lebanese website, World Council for the Cedar Revolution (WCCR), provides comprehensive coverage of the incident, complete with video reports and interviews. One interesting interview is with former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton, who - conceding a high level of speculation and lack of clear information on the case - claims that despite Syria's official complaint to the UN on the strike, it has avoided making a real issue out of it, perhaps indicating that it would rather let the true nature of the "target" remain shrouded.


Blast Exposure

Finally, the Kuwaiti daily As Seyassa, has reported that the September 19th assassination of Lebanese MP Antoine Ghanem was planned and coordinated by Bassem Imad, a Syrian intelligence officer (holding the rank of Major) working under direct orders from Assef Shawkat, Syria's chief of intelligence services and brother-in-law to Syria's President, Bashar el Assad.
“The reopening [of the Dabousiye and Aride border crossings on the Syrian-Lebanese border]came two days ahead of the assassination [of MP Antoine Ghanem] on September 19, and the visit of a delegation of pro-Syrian Lebanese parties was coordinated by Syrian Intelligence to facilitate the entry of those who committed the assassination,” said the sources.

“The Mercedes - stolen a year earlier from Lebanon - that exploded and killed MP Ghanem was prepared in the Syrian village of Kfarsoussa near Damascus. The fake registration plaque and insurance papers were also prepared in Syria,” the article added.
The assassination, according to the paper, was performed by Syrian intelligence agents after detailed monitoring of Ghanem’s movements and the roads used by his motorcade. Two apartments were rented by Syrian Intelligence personnel to that effect, one in Koleiat, where Ghanem lived, and the other in Sin el-Fil, were the assassination was executed.

A third apartment was also reportedly rented in Tripoli in the month of June, and at the height of a terrorist bombing campaign that rocked the country. That campaign was linked to the Battle of Nahr el Bared, where Syrian-linked fundamentalist terrorists continuously fought the Lebanese Army throughout the summer.

According to As Seyassah's sources the assassins exited the country, disguised as Syrian workers, immediately after the execution of their orders.

14 comments:

  1. Jane is off the mark on this one;

    1- Syria does not use mustard gas in its missiles; because it requires a high density of fire, it is better deployed by artillery shells in barrages. Syria tips its 300-600 SCUD-Type rockets with VX, a far more lethal and "efficient" nerve gas that can still kill even when "diluted" by the weapon spread. The other advantage is that the rocket's payload can be kept small, and the range thus increased.

    2- That was an ammo depot. The most likely possibility is that ammo was poorly stored, and the "mix" of unstable chemicals most likely caused the explosion. If you recall, a similar thing happened in Lebanon in the 80's, in Furn El-Chebbak, when the army stored a large stash of ammo recuperated from the PLO.

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  2. Mustapha's "Global Warming" post may not be so far off the mark, considering the poor state of Syrian military infrastructure.

    To clarify: this is related to the early Syrian emphasis on "quantity", since they considered that "quantity has a quality of its own". The trouble is that this strategy works in cases of ongoing high level conflict, and especially for countries like Lenin's Russia that manufactures weapons. Any upgrades or modifications can then be easily applied, since the production line (somewhat) extends to the field. For states like Syria that purchase their weapon systems, after the initial outlay comes the need to upgrade and constant maintenance. On the long run, the "Total Cost" of owning the system is them far higher than the initial outlay.

    The Syrian military today is struggling to maintain the large amount of hardware; 25% of its tanks are in "storage", its troops have 50%-60% of their 1970's transport capability ... The Syrians compensate this weakness by an emphasis on chemical weapons. Incidentally, you may want to watch for "chemical mishaps" around pharma plants; the Syrian chemical program is "related" to its pharma effort. The last mishaps happened a while back, and the Syrians appear to have this part of their weapons program well under control.

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  3. Super Dude2:53 AM

    Anyone seen the report of a Syrian AF fighter jet that crashed a few days ago?

    I saw it on some feed, but did not keep it for reference.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous6:03 AM

    Wow, the World Council for the Cedar Revolution (WCCR)...I guess everything MUST be true...Hey, since you have figured everything out, can you tell us who shot JFK too?

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  5. Anonymous11:15 AM

    Syrian agents killed JFK...What are you stupid? BJ offered different soruces because when you right an analysis piece you don't just stick to one source do you buddy? Thats called subjective journalism. He didn't necessarily state that the WCCR's report was true and stress its report. But I guess you're used to subjective journalism huh? Ingrate.

    -Templar

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  6. Anonymous11:17 AM

    Excuse the spelling, it's 4 a.m and I'm tired. -Templar

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  7. Arabic Coffee Pot2:32 PM

    Hey anon, good criticism (NOT!).

    Could you be any lamer man? Did you even read anything written up there or check the sites? The WCCR material is taken from other sites like cnn, time magazine, etc...

    What is your bashar loving-ass' sources? OTV? Al Manar? Hahahaha, what a joke!!!!!!!

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  8. Hey Mustapha,

    The link you put up isn't working, but no worries, I had already used in the post ("mysterious").

    Jeha,

    Thanks for insightful info.

    ACP and Templar,

    Thanks for the defense :P

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  9. True Blue10:26 PM

    The style of the (News) posts don't look like an analysis strike to me!

    ;)

    ReplyDelete
  10. More on the air raid almost a month on...

    Click Me!

    ReplyDelete
  11. More on the possible nuclear facility:

    Click Me!

    ReplyDelete
  12. David Kenner with before/after satellite pix of the alleged nuclear facility.

    ReplyDelete

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