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Syrian opposition chemical weapons capability

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Syrian opposition chemical weapons capability is a matter of dispute, particularly following the Wikipedia:Ghouta chemical attack of 21 August 2013, which Western states accuse the Syrian government of responsibility for, while Russia and Syria accuse the Wikipedia:Syrian opposition of being responsible. Russia also holds the Syrian opposition responsible for the March 2013 Wikipedia:Khan al-Assal chemical attack. Western intelligence agencies have publicly dismissed the possibility of rebel responsibility for the attack in Ghouta, stating that rebels are incapable of an attack of its scale,[1] although a UK intelligence summary at the end of August 2013 conceded that "a number [of opposition groups] continue to seek a CW capability".[2] Suggested opposition sources of chemical weapons have included capture of Syrian government weapons, Libya, and production using ingredients acquired in Turkey.

History Edit

Syrian commanders have pointed to Syrian radio messages expressing surprise and concern at the gas attacks of September 2013. French and Russian inspectors showed evidence that gas type and delivery technology matched the rebels and not the government forces. The attacks directly followed a US declaration of gas as a red line, and have not been repeated. This is evidence for which current capacity to build chemical weapons is merely a supporting factor; the US has backed and supported factions that not only can and will flout international rules of the conduct of war as well as its instigation, and will deceive and defraud the international community to achieve their ends.

OverviewEdit

One expert, Jeremy Salt, cited circumstantial evidence for the contention that rebels had chemical weapons capabilities, including the March 2013 Wikipedia:Khan al-Assal chemical attack which a Russian investigation said had been a sarin attack carried out by rebels, and the Syrian military's claim in June that they had seized "two barrels of sarin gas" from a “rebel hideout in Hama."[3] In 2012-3 Iran repeatedly told the US via diplomatic channels that the Syrian opposition had chemical weapons.[4]

On 5 May 2013 Wikipedia:Carla del Ponte, a member of the UNHRC commission of Inquiry told RSI, a Swiss public broadcasting organisation: “Our investigations will have to be further explored, tested and proven through new evidence, but as far as we could determine, at the moment only opponents of the regime have used sarin gas” (roughly translated).[5][6]

Possible sources of chemical weaponsEdit

Syrian government stocksEdit

Template:See also

On 29 August 2013 Wikipedia:Associated Press reported that "two intelligence officials and two other U.S. officials" had told it that in the preceding six months "with shifting front lines in the 2½-year-old civil war and sketchy satellite and human intelligence coming out of Syria, U.S. and allied spies have lost track of who controls some of the country's chemical weapons supplies." It clarified that "U.S. satellites ha[d] captured images of Syrian troops moving trucks into weapons storage areas and removing materials, but U.S. analysts ha[d] not been able to track what was moved or, in some cases, where it was relocated. They [we]re also not certain that when they saw what looked like Assad's forces moving chemical supplies, those forces were able to remove everything before rebels took over an area where weapons had been stored."[7]

A US Wikipedia:Congressional Research Service report in September 2013 stated that "U.S. officials have expressed confidence that chemical weapons stocks in Syria are secured by the Asad regime, which dispatched elite Special Forces for that purpose."[8][9] A chemical weapons expert suggested in late August in relation to the August 2013 Ghouta attack that "If [the rebels] have overrun an arms dump which had some of the agent, if a defector brought a limited amount with him, then it would explain why some of the signs and symptoms showed less toxicity than we expected.... That is a lot of 'ifs,' though."[9] Peace studies professor Wikipedia:George A. Lopez said "Is it possible that a rebel group overran a storage facility of the government and captured some shells that were ready to be activated and then did so? ... Yes, but it would have had to have been a very large seizure preceded by a big battle between Assad top teams and rebels. It could not have happened without inside/outside knowledge."[9]

According to former defense correspondent Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, writing in September 2013 regarding the August 2013 Ghouta attack, sources with access to intelligence reports had told him that "intelligence reports from French and Jordanian military intelligence show that the jihadist Wikipedia:al-Nusra Front rebels acquired similar rockets and chemical agents earlier this year when they overran a chemical weapons depot in Aleppo on May 17 and captured a rocket unit in Daraa no[t] long afterward".[10]

Turkey's Wikipedia:Today's Zaman reported in November 2013 that "There are also several reports alleging that the Syrian regime's chemical weapons facility in Homs was seized by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists".[11]

Syrian chemical industryEdit

The Wikipedia:SYSACCO Wikipedia:chemical plant east of Wikipedia:Aleppo, which produces sodium hydroxide and hydrogen chloride, was taken by rebel fighters from the Wikipedia:al-Nusra Front early in December 2012. Syria warned that rebels could use the factory to manufacture deadly chlorine gas.[12]

TurkeyEdit

On 30 May 2013, Turkish newspapers reported that Turkish security forces had arrested Wikipedia:Al-Nusra Front fighters in the southern provinces of Mersin and Adana near the Syrian border and confiscated 2kg of Wikipedia:sarin gas.[13][14] The governor of Adana claimed that the security forces had not found sarin gas but unknown chemicals without further explanation.[15] The Turkish Ambassador to Moscow later said that tests showed the chemical seized was anti-freeze, not sarin.[16] In September six of those arrested in May were charged with attempting to acquire chemicals which could be used to produce sarin; the indictment said that it was "possible to produce sarin gas by combining the materials in proper conditions."[17] The indictment said that "The suspects have pleaded not guilty saying that they had not been aware the materials they had tried to obtain could have been used to make sarin gas. Suspects have been consistently providing conflicting and incoherent facts on this matter." The suspects were said to be linked to Al-Nusra and to Wikipedia:Ahrar ash-Sham.[18][19]

LibyaEdit

Template:See also Retired Lebanese general Wikipedia:Hisham Jaber, cited by Zeina Karam and Wikipedia:Kimberly Dozier of the Wikipedia:Associated Press on 8 September 2013, pointed out that 70,000 Syrian soldiers had defected to the opposition, some of whom could have had chemical weapons training. He went on to claim that the opposition had, via Saudi interlocutors, obtained chemical weapons from Wikipedia:Libya, where conventional (not chemical) weapons stocks have fallen into the hands of a range of different groups after the fall of Ghaddafi. However, Jaber did not offer evidence to support the chemical weapons claim.[20] Libyan cooperation with the Syrian opposition had been reported as long ago as November 2011.[21]

A Russian defence expert said that the code found by the UN investigators on the M-14 munition showed it had been produced in 1967 by a factory in Novosibirsk for a BM-14-17 Wikipedia:multiple rocket launcher. He said that these weapons had been taken out of service by Syria some time ago, and replaced with Wikipedia:BM-21s, and suggested that "the insurgents could have found this ancient junk after capturing some military storage depot.".[22] Journalist Wikipedia:Robert Fisk said that it was rumoured in Damascus that the unpublished Russian evidence included export papers for these missiles showing that they had been sold to Wikipedia:South Yemen, Wikipedia:Egypt, and Wikipedia:Libya. Fisk noted that since the fall of Ghaddafi in 2011 Libyan weapons have been found in Mali, Algeria and the Sinai, and that the Syrian government had long alleged that Qatar, which supported the rebels against Ghaddafi, had helped ship weapons from Libya to Syria.[23] The OPCW said in September 2011 that Libya's chemical weapons stockpiles had remained secure since February 2011, when its inspectors had to leave due to the Wikipedia:Libyan civil war.[24] Libya's declaration to the OPCW of chemical weapons to be destroyed did not include sarin, although it did include sarin precursors.[25][26]

AfghanistanEdit

In October 2013 Russian Foreign Minister Wikipedia:Sergei Lavrov said that Wikipedia:Al-Nusra Front members were getting training in chemical weapons use in Afghanistan, in territory not under the control of the Afghan government. Lavrov said that Al-Nusra was planning to conduct Wikipedia:false flag chemical weapon attacks in Syria.[27]



Syrian chemical industryEdit

 	+ 	

Wikipedia:France 24 reported on 8 December 2012 that the SYSACCO Chemical Plant about Template:Convert east of Wikipedia:Aleppo was taken by rebel fighters from the Wikipedia:al-Nusra Front in week 49. According to their company profile they produce liquid chloride, among other chemicals.[28][29]



According to former defense correspondent Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, sources with access to intelligence reports had told him that "intelligence reports from French and Jordanian military intelligence show that the jihadist al-Nusra front rebels acquired similar rockets and chemical agents earlier this year when they overran a chemical weapons depot in Aleppo on May 17 and captured a rocket unit in Daraa no[t] long afterward".[30] Timmerman also said that Congress should ask questions about the evidence underlying the US intelligence summary, including the arrest in May of rebels allegedly trying to bring 2 kg of sarin into Syria from Turkey.[31] (The Turkish Ambassador to Moscow later said that tests showed the chemical seized from Al-Nusra militants was anti-freeze, not sarin;[16] according to former deputy Prime Minister Wikipedia:Abdüllatif Şener, Turkey has supported al-Nusra with "a large volume of heavy weapons".[32][33][34][35][36]) In September six of those arrested in May were charged with attempting to acquire chemicals which could be used to produce sarin; the indictment said that it was "possible to produce sarin gas by combining the materials in proper conditions."[37] The indictment said that "The suspects have pleaded not guilty saying that they had not been aware the materials they had tried to obtain could have been used to make sarin gas. Suspects have been consistently providing conflicting and incoherent facts on this matter." The suspects were said to be linked to Al-Nusra and to Wikipedia:Ahrar al-Sham.[38][39] Iran had repeatedly told the US via diplomatic channels that the rebels had chemical weapons.[40]

One expert, Jeremy Salt, cited circumstantial evidence for the contention that rebels had chemical weapons capabilities, including the March 2013 Wikipedia:Khan al-Assal chemical attack which a Russian investigation said had been a sarin attack carried out by rebels, and the Syrian military's claim in June that they had seized "two barrels of sarin gas" from a “rebel hideout in Hama."[41] Retired Lebanese general Wikipedia:Hisham Jaber, cited by Wikipedia:Associated Press on 8 September, pointed out that 70,000 Syrian soldiers had defected to the opposition, some of whom could have had chemical weapons training; he also asserted that the opposition had obtained chemical weapons from Wikipedia:Libya, where weapons stocks after the fall of Ghaddafi had fallen into the hands of a range of different groups.[20]


See alsoEdit

External linksEdit


ReferencesEdit

  1. Wikipedia:The Guardian, 29 August 2013, UK report on chemical attack in Syria adds nothing to informed speculation
  2. JIC assessment of 27 August on Reported Chemical Weapons use in Damascus
  3. Jeremy Salt, Wikipedia:Al-Ahram Weekly, 4 September 2013, The guardian of what?
  4. Wikipedia:Christian Science Monitor, 9 September 2013, Leaked Iranian letter warned US that Syrian rebels have chemical weapons
  5. Template:Cite news
  6. Template:Cite news
  7. Wikipedia:Kimberly Dozier and Matt Apuzzo, Wikipedia:Associated Press, 29 August 2013, AP sources: Intelligence on weapons no 'slam dunk'
  8. Wikipedia:Congressional Research Service, 12 September 2013, Syria's Chemical Weapons: Issues for Congress
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Eyder Peralta, NPR, 27 August 2013, Is It Possible The Syrian Rebels (Not Assad) Used Chemical Weapons?
  10. Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, Wikipedia:The Daily Caller, 9 September 2013, The evidence for Syrian chemical weapons use crumbles
  11. Wikipedia:Today's Zaman, 4 November 2013, Syrian al Qaeda prepares to launch attack in Turkey's big cities
  12. Template:Cite news
  13. Template:Cite news
  14. Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, Wikipedia:The Daily Caller, 3 September 2013, Congress must ask the right questions on Syrian chemical weapons use
  15. Template:Cite news
  16. 16.0 16.1 Template:Cite news
  17. Wikipedia:Aydınlık, 12 September 2013, Al-Nusra Linked to Chemical Production in Turkey
  18. Wikipedia:Hurriyet Daily News, 12 September 2013, Syrian rebel groups sought to buy materials for chemical weapons, prosecutors say
  19. Patrick J. McDonnell, Wikipedia:Los Angeles Times, 13 September 2013, Syrian rebel groups sought sarin gas material, Turkish prosecutors say
  20. 20.0 20.1 Zeina Karam and Kimberly Dozier, Wikipedia:Associated Press, Wikipedia:The Seattle Times, 8 September 2013, Doubts linger over Syria gas attack responsibility
  21. Wikipedia:Daily Telegraph, 25 November 2011, Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels
  22. Wikipedia:Daily Mail, 18 September 2013, Moscow admits part of rockets fired in Syria gas attack WERE Russian... but says 'antique' devices from the 1960s prove they were fired by the rebels
  23. Wikipedia:Robert Fisk, Wikipedia:The Independent, 22 September 2013, Gas missiles 'were not sold to Syria'
  24. Huffington Post, 7 September 2011, Libya: Chemical Weapons Secure According To U.N. Watchdog
  25. "Libya | Country Profiles". NTI. http://www.nti.org/country-profiles/libya/chemical/. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  26. OPCW, Libya: Facts and Figures
  27. Wikipedia:Russia Today, 11 October 2013, Foreigners train Syrian rebels in Afghanistan to use chem weapons - Lavrov
  28. Template:Cite news
  29. "SYSACCO Chemical Plant company profile". SYSACCO. 2 January 2013. https://www.facebook.com/SYSACCO/info. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  30. Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, Wikipedia:The Daily Caller, 9 September 2013, The evidence for Syrian chemical weapons use crumbles
  31. Wikipedia:Kenneth R. Timmerman, Wikipedia:The Daily Caller, 3 September 2013, Congress must ask the right questions on Syrian chemical weapons use
  32. Wikipedia:Fars News Agency, 8 September 2013, Ex-Deputy PM: Turkey Supplying Heavy Weaponries to al-Nusra Terrorists in Syria
  33. Wikipedia:Vatan, 8 September 2013, 'Türkiye El Nusra’ya ağır silahlar gönderdi'
  34. Wikipedia:Aydınlık, 9 September 2013, AKP El-Nusra’ya silah gönderdi
  35. Wikipedia:Haberler.com, 8 September 2013, Abdüllatif Şener: Türkiye, Nusra'ya Ağır Silahlar Gönderdi
  36. "Şener’den sarsıcı iddia" (in Turkish). Wikipedia:Doğan News Agency, Wikipedia:Taraf. 9 September 2013. http://www.taraf.com.tr/haber/sener-den-sarsici-iddia.htm. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  37. "Al-Nusra Linked to Chemical Production in Turkey". Wikipedia:Aydınlık. 12 September 2013. http://www.aydinlikdaily.com/Al-Nusra-Linked-to-Chemical-Production-in-Turkey-591. Retrieved 17 September 2013. 
  38. Wikipedia:Hurriyet Daily News, 12 September 2013, Syrian rebel groups sought to buy materials for chemical weapons, prosecutors say
  39. Template:Cite news
  40. Wikipedia:Christian Science Monitor, 9 September 2013, Leaked Iranian letter warned US that Syrian rebels have chemical weapons
  41. Jeremy Salt, Wikipedia:Al-Ahram Weekly, 4 September 2013, The guardian of what?


Wikipedia:Category:Syrian Civil War Wikipedia:Category:Chemical weapons


Wikipedia:Category:False flag operations

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