'Syrians tested chemical weapons firing systems'

'Der Spiegel' quotes witnesses as saying tanks, helicopters fired shells capable of chemical weapons under observation of IRGC.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 17, 2012 20:54
1 minute read.
Chemical WMDs (illustrative)

weapons of mass destruction 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Syria tested firing systems for poison gas shells at the country's largest chemical weapons research center at Safira, east of Aleppo, last month, German weekly Der Spiegel reported on Monday, citing statements from various witnesses.

According to the report, Iranian Revolutionary Guard officers were flown in by helicopter to witness the testing.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Several empty shells, designed to carry chemical weapons, were fired by tanks and helicopters in a desert location near the research center, Der Spiegel quoted the witnesses as saying.

According to the report, Syria has reinforced security at the facility and made efforts to safeguard its electricity supply in recent months, in case of rebel attack.

Both the US and Israel have expressed concern over Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands or being used by Syrian President Bashar Assad to quell the uprising in the country.

Click for full JPost coverage

US President Barack Obama warned last month that any sign that Assad was starting to utilize the weapons, or move them, would constitute a "red line" that could trigger US military intervention in the conflict.



"We cannot have a situation where chemical or biological weapons are falling into the hands of the wrong people," Obama told an impromptu White House news conference. He acknowledged he was not "absolutely confident" the stockpile was secure.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in July that Israel would take military action if needed to prevent Syria's chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

According to Monday's report in Der Spiegel, the Safira chemical weapons research center includes scientists from North Korea and Iran who produce chemical weapons such as mustard gas and sarin which they test on animals.

The German weekly quoted a member of the Free Syrian Army as saying that the rebels are not planning to attack or capture the site.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Related Content

August 17, 2018
German Jewish council urges end of Iran-Germany trade

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL