Concern is heightening over the possible existence of up to 50 tons of enriched uranium in Syria, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, a stockpile large enough for the production of five atomic bombs.
To date, governments have largely focused on the fate of Syria’s chemical weapons, and preventing their seizure by Islamic militants spearheading the ongoing uprising against President Bashar Assad's rule.
As the country descends deeper into a sectarian civil war, however, fears have grown over the possible existence, and security, of a stockpile of processed uranium inside Syria.
The worry stems from the Assad regime's attempt to build a nuclear reactor in the eastern city of at Al-Kibar in the mid-2000s. With assistance from North Korea, Damascus is believed to have nearly completed the facility prior to its destruction in an alleged Israeli airstrike in 2007.
Few details are known about the nature of the reactor, although experts believe the plant would have required approximately 50 tons of natural uranium fuel to become operational.