UNITED NATIONS — The Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq said in a letter circulated Tuesday at the United Nations.
The U.S. government played down the threat from the takeover, saying there are no intact chemical weapons and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to use the material for military purposes.
The Islamic State group, which controls parts of Syria, sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq last month and quickly captured a vast stretch of territory straddling the border between the two countries. Last week, its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared the establishment of an Islamic state, or caliphate, in the land the extremists control. Continue reading
Simply WMDs from Iraq that weren’t shipped by Russia to Syria.
See also the following previous posts for further information:
Facility containing disused stores of sarin and mustard gas overrun by jihadist group
The jihadist group bringing terror to Iraq overran a Saddam Hussein chemical weapons complex on Thursday, gaining access to disused stores of hundreds of tonnes of potentially deadly poisons including mustard gas and sarin. Continue reading
The household cleaning agent chlorine, in heavy concentration is purchased by Iran and and fitted with detonators, to provide President Bashar Assad with a vehicle for cheating on his undertaking to surrender Syria’s chemical arsenal under the year-old US-Russian chemical disarmament accord. And Assad is indeed getting away with using chlorine bombs, with crippling effect, especially on children, every few days.
Nonetheless, Sigrid Kaag of the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Saturday, April 19, that Syria had destroyed approximately 80 percent of its arsenal as agreed under the Kerry-Lavrov accord. At this rate, she said, Syria will have got rid of 100 percent of its chemical arsenal by the April 27 deadline.
The French President Francois Hollande admitted April 20, however, that the Syrian leader had continued to use chemical weapons on the front line, but he denied that definite proof had not been established. Continue reading
Embattled Syrian leader Bashar Assad is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction rather than handing over them as agreed last summer, the Sunday Times reported, quoting Israeli and Russian sources.
The report cites the sources as saying that the WMDs, which include chemical and biological weapons, are being upgraded with North Korean and Iranian assistance, and are believed by the Israelis to be located in Western Syria, in “the heartland of his Alawite sect”. They are to serve, the paper said, “as an insurance policy in case (Assad’s) country is eventually partitioned.” Continue reading
Reality is, is that the OPCW was either fooled themselves or they’re also in on it. The declaration is a sham and this is one such example serving as proof.
AFP – Turkish authorities have seized a large quantity of chemicals from a convoy trying to illegally enter the country from Syria, which “could be transformed into weapons”, the army said Sunday.
The convoy of three vehicles refused to stop as it attempted to illegally cross the border on Saturday near the southeastern town Turkish town of Reyhanli, the army said in a statement.
Para-military police were forced to shoot out the tyres of the vehicles to stop them, and three drivers jumped out and fled in the direction of Syria. Continue reading
The size and movements of the advancing Syrian forces indicate that the regime in Damascus has determined to root out the rebel presence in all parts of Syrian border with Israel – from the Hermon Mts. in the north, down to the Syrian-Israel-Jordanian border junction opposite the southern Israeli Golan.
The main body is presently on the move in the area between the Yarmuk River which marks the Syrian Jordanian border and Quneitra.
The Syrian rebel forces clinging to small locations along the Israeli border are small and not expected to last long under a sizeable Syria military assault, one of whose objectives is undoubtedly to sever the links between rebel positions on the Golan and the IDF. Continue reading
Khaled al-Daher of the Lebanese al-Mustaqbal party, which opposes Hezbollah who warned in the past that Assad is transferring chemical weapons to them, claimed that the bases were built under the supervision of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. According to him, Hezbollah can arm the missiles with nuclear warheads.
Al-Daher linked this information with recent statements made by Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who said that in the next conflict, Israel will face weapons that have not been used against it before. Continue reading
Western military sources predict an upsurge of tension this week along Israel’s borders with Syria and Lebanon. Moscow, Tehran and Damascus may be planning to embarrass Binyamin Netanyahu when he sits down with President Barack Obama at the White house Monday, Sept. 30, and addresses the UN General Assembly the next day, Oct. 1.
They see an opportunity to push Israel further out in the cold after the Obama administration’s brush-off in his rush to pursue relations with Tehran. Israel is seen as hitting a weak streak as a result of Washington’s cold shoulder and its own lack of military impetus as Netanyahu arrives in America to present Israel’s case to the US President and the international community. Continue reading
Whatever direction gives Israel the short end of the stick is the one both Iran and the current White House administration will likely choose.
Iranian President Rouhani conspicuously avoided shaking the hand President Barack Obama extended to his government at the UN Tuesday, Sept. 24, by absenting himself from the UN reception for world readers. He made this gesture under strong international spotlight to underscore the value Iran places on being respected as an equal in the negotiations ahead with the United States, Iranian sources stress.
Obama knew the “handshake rebuff” was coming, yet he went through with his announcement of direct engagement with Iran earlier Tuesday. To give his rhetoric weight, he demonstratively instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to take charge of the pursuit of “face to face negotiations” with Tehran.
The link Obama made in his speech between the Iranian and Palestinians negotiating processes as the two focal issues of his Middle East policy was further embodied by his appointment of the same official, John Kerry, to take charge of both tracks. This has placed Israel at a disadvantage on both fronts. Continue reading
Even Vladimir Putin himself expressed doubt that Syria would get rid of its chemical weapons. Although Putin has expressed his doubt, his statements were calculated. It’s all only a big game for buying time and political positioning with the aim of making the West look like the bad guy — and America is falling for it. Expect a revival of the forced war against Syria.
Russian leaders finally picked apart the Kerry-Lavrov understanding for Syria’s chemical disarmament – less than a week after it was unveiled in Geneva last Saturday. Thursday, Sept. 19, they slapped down a string of coordinated obstructions. One knockout blow came from President Vladimir Putin, who commented dryly that he could not be 100 percent certain that the plan for the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapons would succeed. “But everything we have seen so far in recent days gives us confidence that this will happen. I hope so,” he said.
To dispel that hope, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu followed up with a denial of any plans to destroy the Syrian chemical stocks on Russian soil.
Then, in an interview to Fox News, Syrian President Bashar Assad, in sync with Moscow, asked mockingly: “It [the destruction of poison chemicals] is very detrimental to the environment. If the American administration is ready to pay this money and take the responsibility of bringing toxic materials to the United States, why don’t they do it?”
Since Russia and the US are the only countries with the industrial-scale capacity to destroy chemical munitions, and their import is banned under US law, Assad’s chemical arsenal is safe. Continue reading
Berlin exported 111 tons of chemicals to Damascus between 2002-2006; German gov’t: Chemicals were sold for civilian use.
BERLIN – Germany exported 111 tons of chemicals to Syria between 2002 and 2006 that could be used in the production of sarin gas, according to a government document published on Wednesday.
But the government rejected a suggestion from an opposition lawmaker that Germany might thereby have inadvertently contributed to the August 21 sarin attack in Syria, which the West blames on President Bashar Assad.
The chemicals – sodium fluoride, hydrofluoric acid and ammonium hydrogen fluoride – are classified as “dual use” under European Union law, meaning they can be used for either civil or military purposes. They require special export permits. Continue reading
A military strike once contingent on chemical weapons has now become a game of semantics as a loophole has been exploited:
Syrian President Bashar Assad has two biological weapons bases, developing anthrax and other devastating biological agents, and yet the US-Russia deal aimed at stripping his regime of chemical weapons makes no provisions for his biological weapons capability, Israeli TV reported Sunday night.
There is “not a word” about biological weapons in the agreement that US Secretary of State John Kerry discussed with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem on Sunday, Channel 10 news said.
Assad has two biological weapons bases, one of them subterranean and a second in a coastal location, producing anthrax and other agents, the report said. Continue reading
Although this event is unconfirmed, this is also what Saddam Hussein did with his WMDs shortly before the second invasion of Iraq, with help from the Russians. If confirmed to be so, some of these could even be the old Iraqi WMDs. The US State Department had previously warned Iraq about this possibly happening in February of 2012 (see fourth link).
For further information on the Iraqi WMDs and Syria WMD related items, see these following links:
Extra piece on the danger of loose WMDs: The Path to 9/11 and Beyond
Unconfirmed report in Lebanese newspaper echoes claims by Syrian rebels that Assad is hiding his WMD stocks to evade inspectors
Twenty trucks laden with equipment used in the manufacture of chemical weapons were driven across the border from Syria into Iraq on Thursday and Friday, the Lebanese newspaper Al-Mustaqbal reported on Sunday.
The trucks were “heavily protected” by security forces, and were not inspected by border guards, the paper reported, adding that its sources confirmed the illicit cargo. Continue reading
Arabic-language Russian news site Rusiya Al-Yaum has reported that Syrian rebels are planning a chemical attack on Israel.
In the report, it was claimed that “armed Syrian militants will use territories controlled by the Syrian regime to perpetrate their provocative plan.” Continue reading
US secretary of state John Kerry has given an ultimatum to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad to avoid a military strike by turning over his entire chemical weapons arsenal to the international community within the next week.
At a joint press conference with UK foreign secretary William Hague, Kerry said that America was not going to war but would launch an “unbelievably small and limited effort” to punish the Assad regime for the 21 August chemical weapons attack in Ghouta and to deter it from doing it again. Continue reading