Moscow Turns Blind Eye To Syrian Chemical Weapons; We’ll Destroy Sites: Israelis
TEL AVIV: Israel will not let Syria to keep its chemical weapons stockpile and produce more advanced chemical agents and “has attacked targets related to Syria’s chemical weapons program and will continue such attacks as more intelligence is gathered,” a defense source here says.
“The Syrians had a stockpile of 1,300 tons of chemical weapons, before the world demanded to abolish it. But while a big part was destroyed the regime still keeps a quantity of these agent including deadly VX, and there are no signs that they are going to give it up. “They need it in order to deal with the enemies of the Assad regime” Amos Gilead told Breaking D. Gilead was director of policy and political-military affairs at the Israeli Ministry of Defense. He also served as head of the Israeli Defense Force’s military intelligence research division. ”When a few grams of these chemical agents can kill, the fact that the Assad regime is still keeping relatively big quantities is a real cause for concern.’
A very senior source that talked with Breaking Defense on condition of anonymity said the Russians that actually control things in Syria ”prefer to look aside” when it comes to Syria’s chemical weapons. “If they confirm they know about the chemical weapons, they may be accused by the world if Syria decides to use it massively, as it did in the past.”
In recent weeks, Israel reportedly has targeted chemical weapons facilities in Syria. According to Yedioth Aahronoth, a large Israeli daily newspaper, one of the targets hit by Israeli airstrikes in central Syria in early March is believed to have been a chemical weapons production facility. Tel Aviv University Professor Eyal Zisser says that, if this report is true, it is a sign that the Syrian regime is still developing chemical weapons despite efforts by the international community to dismantle Damascus’s program. This program was allegedly shuttered in 2014, but all signs are that with the silent consent of Russia, this program continues to manufacture chemical weapons.
“Nothing happens in Syria without Moscow’s consent,” an Israeli source said.
During the civil war in Syria, the Assad regime performed some chemical weapons attacks that caused casualties and severe burns and lung problems.
A classified report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said that most of the 122 samples that the OPCW collected at multiple sites in Syria “indicate potentially undeclared chemical weapons-related activities.”
The report said that the Syrian government “failed to provide sufficient access to senior leaders in its chemical weapons program or to adequately account for 2,000 aerial bombs that Syria acknowledges were designed to deliver mustard gas.”
According to Yaakov Lappin , a research fellow in the Begin-Sadat Institute for Strategic Studies (BESA), the regime led by Syrian President Bashar Assad has repeatedly used chemical weapons against its own Sunni citizens to conduct mass slaughter throughout the civil war.
“Other targets hit in the alleged Israeli strikes appeared to include terror cell positions in southern Syria that Iran and Hezbollah were setting up as part of their long-term effort to create strike capabilities against Israel,” he said.
“Such strikes appear to be a reflection of the fact that the Iranian policy of military and terrorist entrenchment in Syria remains in place, despite likely disapproval from Russia, the senior partner in the pro-Assad coalition. Moscow has its own vision for Syria, and it does not include Iranian domination.”
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