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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Syrian chemical weapons: The thick plottens

For the last week, I have been telling anyone who would listen (and a lot of people who would rather not) that the Syrian 'facility' that Israel's air force allegedly struck on September 6 was a chemical weapons plant and not a nuclear weapons plant (or missiles being trans-shipped to Hezbullah) as some people believe. A semi-coherent restatement of my arguments may be found here.

Last night, Jane's, the respected British defense weekly, published a report in which it discussed an 'accident' that took place at a joint Syrian - Iranian chemical weapons experiment in July that was designed to install sarin (nerve gas) in the payload of Scud C missiles to be shot at Israel. At the time, I said that I felt it strengthened my case that what Israel had allegedly hit was a chemical weapons plant.

Now, Ronen Bregman has written an article at YNet in which he notes the physical proximity of the site of the IAF strike in northeastern Syria to the site of the plant where the 'accident' took place.

Hat tip: Solomonia
The accident in al-Safir - as reported by Jane's Magazine – is the latest in a series of accidents: In 1991 the Syrian Health Ministry was forced to close down five pharmaceutical plants due to "complaints by civilians and doctors" that the products "did not meet the required regulations."

Nonetheless, the proximity of the explosion in al-Safir and the reports in the foreign media in recent weeks about an "Israeli strike" in a nearby area is nothing short of amazing.
Amazing indeed. Read the whole thing.


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