LONDON — Syria was said to have renewed efforts to produce nuclear weapons and maintains a secret facility near Lebanon.
The German weekly Der Spiegel reported that President Bashar Assad has rebuilt Syria’s nuclear weapons infrastructure with help from Iran and North Korea.
Der Spiegel, citing Western intelligence assessments, said the Assad regime has received some 50 tons of uranium stored in a facility near Damascus and guarded by Hizbullah and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
“Syria’s dictator has not given up his dream of an atomic weapon and has apparently built a new nuclear facility at a secret location,” Der Spiegel said. “It is an extremely unsettling piece of news.”
In a report on Jan. 9, Der Spiegel said Israel’s bombing of a nuclear facility in the northern province of Dir Al Zour in 2007 failed to end Syria’s program. The German magazine said the International Atomic Energy Agency has identified the Marj A-Sultan facility 15 kilometers north of Damascus as a suspected uranium enrichment facility. So far, the Assad regime has denied access to IAEA.
The IAEA was said to have concluded that the Assad regime stored up to 50 tons of uranium, enough for up to five nuclear bombs. Der Spiegel said some 8,000 nuclear fuel rods had been stored at Marj A-Sultan.
Full article: Report: Syria builds new nuke site near Lebanon with help from Iran, N. Korea (World Tribune)