Report: Syria is transferring chemical weapons to Hezbollah to avoid international inspection

Opposition: Some chemical arms smuggled onto Russian warships.

By YAARA SHALOM
September 16, 2013 10:53
1 minute read.
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and Syrian President Bashar Assad.

Nasrallah Assad Ahmadinejad 370. (photo credit: REUTERS/Sana)

 
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Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces are smuggling chemical weapons to Hezbollah hidden in trucks carrying vegetables in order to escape international chemical inspection, Syrian opposition member Dr. Kamal Labwani told Saudi newspaper Al Watan on Monday.

The chemical arms are set to be stored in Hezbollah-controlled mountain areas of Lebanon, where it will be difficult to find and monitor them.

Syria has also been able to smuggle the bulk of its chemical arsenal to Russian warships stationed off the coast of Syria, Labwani said.

On Sunday, Lebanese daily Al-Mustaqbal reported Syria has moved 20 trucks worth of equipment and material used for the manufacturing of chemical weapons into Iraq, but Baghdad has denied allegations that it is helping the Syrian government conceal chemical stockpiles.

The report came just a day after the United States and Russia struck a deal stipulating that the Assad regime would destroy its chemical arsenal to avert an American military assault.


Al-Mustaqbal, a publication that has long been affiliated with anti-Syrian political elements in Lebanon, reported that the trucks crossed the boundary separating Syria with Iraq over the course of Thursday and Friday. Border guards did not inspect the contents of the trucks, which raises suspicions that they contained illicit cargo, according to the paper.

Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said on Sunday that Israel is able to track attempts made by the Assad regime to transfer its chemical weapons to others.

“Israel has good capabilities, and has drawn a red line over the transfer of chemical weapons to terrorist organizations, including Hezbollah,” Steinitz told Army Radio.

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