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Gordon Shumway 02-24-2012 04:17 PM

Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs
Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs | The Cable


This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria's neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria's WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable.

Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.

"The U.S. and our allies are monitoring Syria's chemical weapons stockpile. These weapons' presence in Syria undermines peace and security in the Middle East, and we have long called on the Syrian government to destroy its chemicals weapons arsenal and join the Chemical Weapons Convention," the State Department official said. "We believe Syria's chemical weapons stockpile remains under Syrian government control, and we will continue to work closely with like-minded countries to prevent proliferation of Syria's chemical weapons program."

"It's an exponentially more dangerous program than Libya. We are talking about legitimate WMDs here -- this isn't Iraq. The administration is really concerned about loose WMDs. It's one of the few things you could put on the agenda and do something about without planning the fall of the regime."

"The WMD program is in play now, and that's important because it highlights the innate danger that the existence of this regime poses to U.S. security and regional interests," the administration official said.
sounds eerily familiar :shrug

762nato 02-24-2012 04:43 PM

Re: Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs
I have been saying for years that the WMD's Sadam had were trucked across the border to Syria while the UN was fooling around with those dopey Hans Bleick inspections proir to our invasion of Iraq.

If you recall Sadam and Assad are/were associated with the Bath party composed primarily of Sunni Muslims. When the Muslim Brotherhood gets control in Syria they will get the WMD'a and use them.

waltky 06-29-2017 02:38 AM

Re: Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs

Jihadis Using 'Dark Web' in Pursuit of WMDs...
UN: Terrorists Using 'Dark Web' in Pursuit of WMDs
June 28, 2017 — The U.N.'s disarmament chief warned Wednesday that terrorists and non-state actors are using the so-called dark web to seek the tools to make and deliver weapons of mass destruction.

"The global reach and anonymity of the dark web provides non-state actors with new marketplaces to acquire dual-use equipment and materials," U.N. High Representative for Disarmament Affairs Izumi Nakamitsu told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council. The dark web is a part of the internet that requires special software to access and allows users and website operators to remain anonymous or untraceable, making it appealing to criminals, terrorists and pedophiles. Nakamitsu said that dual-use items are complicating their efforts to address the risks posed by WMD. "We must keep in mind that many of the technologies, goods and raw materials required for developing weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery derive from legitimate commercial applications that benefit many people," she said. Nakamitsu added that it is important to strike the right balance between collective security and commercial opportunity with preventing proliferation.

A still image taken from a video posted to a social media website on April 4, 2017, shows people lying on the ground, said to be in the town of Khan Sheikhoun, after what rescue workers described as a suspected gas attack in rebel-held Idlib, Syria.

Weapons of mass destruction include nuclear, chemical, radiological and biological weapons. "While there are still significant technical hurdles that terrorist groups need to overcome to effectively use weapons of mass destruction, a growing number of emerging technologies could make this barrier easier to cross," Nakamitsu said. In addition to the dark web, she said the use of drones and 3-D printers by non-state actors are also growing concerns. Nakamitsu urged intensified international cooperation to make it harder for terrorists and criminals to illegally traffic sensitive materials.

Chemical weapons

Terrorists have already used poison gas in at least one deadly attack. In Syria, Islamic State used mustard gas on civilians in the town of Marea in August 2015, according to a U.N.-authorized investigation last year. (The same investigators also concluded that the Syrian government carried out at least two chemical weapons attacks on civilians living in rebel-controlled areas in 2014 and 2015.) "The use by non-state actors of chemical weapons is no longer a threat, but a chilling reality," Joseph Ballard, a senior official with the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told council members.

Ballard said the OPCW is working to enhance the security of the global supply chain of dual-use materials and technologies, including working with international customs officials. He said the organization also works closely with the international chemical industry, to ensure that toxic chemicals do not fall into the wrong hands.

See also:

Growing Nuclear Arsenals Increase Concerns About Possible Pakistan-India War
June 26, 2017 - India and Pakistan have fought three wars and have been on the brink of another several times, a worrying prospect given that both have growing stockpiles of nuclear weapons and questions about how secure they are.

The arms race between the South Asian neighbors has moved to enhancing the delivery systems for the warheads, which could annihilate the subcontinent several times. India's recent launch of more than 100 satellites with a single rocket foreshadows the capability of sending up a missile with multiple nuclear weapons. The volatility of the situation is further exacerbated because neither country has a national missile defense system, and it likely would take several years to get one in place.

Supersonic BrahMos missiles are prepared for an exhibition in New Delhi, India

While the policy of mutually assured destruction has kept hostilities from overheating so far, experts believe that a misunderstanding or misadventure could escalate to a full-fledged war with nuclear weapons in play. And there are plenty of risks.

Kashmir a flashpoint

Kashmir has been a flashpoint since the subcontinent was partitioned in 1947 and caused the most recent flare-up last November. Both sides accuse each other of harboring terrorists who launch cross-border attacks. Therefore, the question is whether the nukes in South Asia could fall into the wrong hands during mobilization in the fog of war.

Indian Air Force MIG 21 jet fighters perform during a parade at an airbase in Tezpur, India

Nuclear arms experts Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris estimate that Pakistan has 120-130 nuclear warheads compared with India's 110-120. India is said to have a stockpile of 540 kilograms of weapons grade plutonium, enough to produce 130 warheads. Pakistan has 3,100 kilograms of highly enriched uranium, sufficient to build 300 warheads. That's a lot to keep an eye on. “The nukes were safe when these were in storage areas in both countries,” Michael Krepon, co-founder and senior associate at Stimson Center, said in an interview with VOA's Urdu Service. “But when these have to be moved around in a state of war, it surely raises a red flag about their security on many counts.

Serious concerns

waltky 10-27-2017 02:58 AM

Re: Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs
UN confirms Assad regime used Sarin in chemical attack...
U.N. Watchdog: Syrian Government Responsible For April Sarin Gas Attack
October 27, 2017 - The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons confirmed in June that the agent used in the attack was sarin. On Thursday, the OPCW said it was sure that the Syrian regime carried it out.

A U.N. watchdog agency is blaming the Syrian government for a sarin gas attack on a rebel-held area of the country that killed more than 90 people in April. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which confirmed in June that the agent used sarin, now says it is sure that the attack in Khan Sheikhoun in the northern province of Idlib was carried out by the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Linda Fasulo, reporting for NPR from the United Nations, says the OPCW conclusion "coincides with initial findings by Washington in April, which resulted in a retaliatory U.S. missile strike against a Syrian airbase."

United Nations special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura is seen on a video screen as he listens to a Security council meeting on Syria at U.N. headquarters in June about the possible use of sarin gas in an attack that killed more than 90 people.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in a statement that the report "confirms what we have long known to be true. Time and again, we see independent confirmation of chemical weapons use by the Assad regime." As NPR's Merrit Kennedy wrote in June: "The April 4 airstrike killed scores of people, and experts immediately pointed to the possibility of sarin. Sarin is more lethal than chlorine gas, which has been documented numerous times in Syria. ... The day after the attack, Doctors Without Borders said it had examined eight patients who "showed symptoms – including constricted pupils, muscle spasms and involuntary defecation – which are consistent with exposure to a neurotoxic agent such as sarin gas or similar compounds."

Shortly after the attack, U.S. officials rejected a claim by Russia, which is an ally of the Syrian government, that "a conventional weapons strike by the Assad regime accidentally hit a stockpile of chemical weapons that belonged to rebels or terrorists."

U.N. Watchdog: Syrian Government Responsible For April Sarin Gas Attack : The Two-Way : NPR

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