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Report: Syria is first state with ‘sophisticated’ WMD to be torn by civil war (WORLD TRIBUNE) WASHINGTON 03/29/12)Source: http://www.worldnewstribune.com/2012/03/29/report-syria-is-first-state-with-sophisticated-wmd-to-be-torn-by-civil-war/ WORLD TRIBUNE WORLD TRIBUNE Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
WASHINGTON — Syria has become the first weapons of mass destruction state plunged into civil war, a report said.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists asserted that the West has confronted an unprecedented challenge with the Sunni revolt in Syria. In a report by Charles Blair, the periodical said Syria’s huge WMD stockpile could either be used by the Assad regime or seized by Iran’s proxies.

“Should Syria devolve into full-blown civil-war, the security of its WMD should be of profound concern, as sectarian insurgents and Islamist terrorist groups may stand poised to seize chemical and perhaps even biological weapons,” the report, titled “Fearful of a Nuclear Iran? The real WMD nightmare Is Syria,” said.

Dated March 1, the report said Syria, with four CW production facilities, was believed to have “one of the largest and most sophisticated chemical weapon programs in the world.” This has included an offensive biological weapons capability, something that the Libyan regime of the late Col. Moammar Gadhafi lacked.

The report cited U.S. assessments that Syria, which refused to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention, could have deployed up to 200 Scud- class ballistic missiles with warheads loaded with sarin gas. Assad was also believed to control a stockpile of several hundred tons of sarin and mustard gas that could be used in air-to-ground bombs and artillery shells.

“Insurgents and terrorists with past or present connections to the military might feasibly be able to effectively disseminate chemical agents over large populations,” the report said.

The report said Syria might have accelerated its BW and CW programs after Israel destroyed a secret Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007. Amid the Sunni revolt, Blair, who urged international intervention, did not rule out a scenario in which biological and chemical weapons agents would be smuggled from Syria to Al Qaida in neighboring Iraq or Jordan, Israel, Europe and the United States.

“The situation in Syria is unprecedented,” the report said. “Never before has a WMD-armed country fallen into civil war. All states in the region stand poised to lose if these weapons find their way outside of Syria.” (Copyright © 2012 East West Services, Inc. 03/29/12)

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