Israel continues to turn a blind eye to the danger of Syrian chemical weapons

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Israeli policy makers seem to have decided to ignore one deadly fact: Syria did not surrender its entire chemical arsenal. Syria continues to use it.

Yesterday, Israel’s TV Channel Two reported what we at iHLS have already in the past: the Syrian Army continues to use chemical weapons in the framework of its attacks on rebel strongholds.

According to the sources quoted by Channel Two’s report, the Syrian forces used chlorine gas to attack forces opposing Assad’s regime in the suburbs of Damascus, killing a few people and injuring dozens. The Syrian Army’s repeated use of chemical weapons is one of over 40 cited cases of contraband WMD deployment.

As reported by Channel Two, Israel’s defense establishment is taking the use of chlorine gas rather lightly, claiming chlorine is less dangerous than other material Syria was – and may still be – in possession of.

Any chemistry-one-on-one graduate would tell you chlorine gas is deadly. Worse still, Syria is indeed in possession of other chemical weapons.

I already said, back in September, that what any junior intelligence officer knows failed to reach the Oval Office. Whilst we at iHLS keep alerting, based on our sources, that Syria did not destroy its chemical arsenal, the US hailed “the mission’s completion”. But the mission is far from complete. Assad is laughing his head off.

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I also wrote on this issue after the U.S. expressed concern that ISIS and other terrorist organization will succeed in laying their hands on chemical weapons in case Syria still keeps them in storage. “In Case”? What a stupid assumption. The question is ’how much’ do the Syrians have, not whether they do. This was my take on this topic back then.

The fact the Americans do not know the facts is fine. But here in Israel, some seem to have joined the choir of those who say the danger of Syrian chemical weapons is gone, so protective masks do not need to be produced and distributed.

So here the facts: Syria did not relinquish a fraction of its chemical arsenal. Assad is an expert at fooling the gullible, naïve, West.

Syria is among the most advanced countries in the Middle East in the field of chemical warfare. Egypt furnished them with initial capabilities a little prior to the war in 1973. Since then, Syria acquired many and varied capabilities, including mustard gas and Sarin gas, and probably vx nerve gas as well. Various reports abound, according to which Syria manufactured chemical weapons since the 1980’s at Hama, Homs and Al-Safira, near Aleppo. Nevertheless, Syria remains dependent on foreign sources when it comes to dual-use chemicals (used for both civil and military purposes), as well as for supply of catalysts – which are crucial for chemical weapons.

Syria still has Scud B and Scud C missiles, as well as artillery shells and rockets. These delivery systems seem capable of launching chemical warheads. Until recently, Syria refused to co-sign CWC – the Chemical Weapons Convention, an anti-proliferation charter.
Arie Egozi i-HLS Editor-in-Chief
Arie Egozi
i-HLS Editor-in-Chief