Was Israel behind the July explosion at the Syrian military base outside Aleppo?
By Olivier Guitta
The September 6 Israeli attack on what was most likely a Syrian nuclear site, was confirmed yesterday by a top Syrian official. Even though today, Syria is vehemently denying the following account: according to Fox News, “it [Israel] had taken action against nuclear facilities, including the 6 July attack in Syria," Syrian representative Bassam Darwish is quoted in the document as saying.
Still according to Fox News, diplomats familiar with the document cannot explain why July 6 was invoked, instead of Sept. 6, the date both countries say an incident occurred. A State Department source told Fox News the best explanation is that Darwish misspoke.
But it might be possible that Darwish mixed the July and September dates because of the explosion that occurred in a Syrian military base outside Aleppo on July 26.
Jane’s Defense Weekly reported, in its September 26 issue, citing Syrian defense sources, as saying the explosion took place during a test to fit a "Scud C" missile with a mustard-gas warhead. It quoted the sources as saying the explosion occurred when fuel caught fire in the missile production laboratory.
"The blast dispersed chemical agents (including VX and Sarin nerve agents and mustard blister agent) across the storage facility and outside," the publication quoted the sources as saying. The magazine said that, in addition to the 15 Syrian troops, "dozens" of Iranian weapons engineers were killed.
But there might be another explanation for this explosion.
In fact, The Croissant ran a story, from the Kuwaiti Al Seyassah of September 26, 2007, with a cautious disclaimer stating that the following story was to be handled carefully.
Al Seyassah quoted a Shiite Lebanese ulema [religious cleric] as saying that tens of Iranian experts and engineers died as a result of the July 26 explosion. He said that Iranians were supervising a program of chemical weapons manufacturing. And he added that the Israelis were behind this attack but he did not explain how they succeeded.
What is sure is that Israel must be very happy that a chemical weapons facility in Syria had been badly damaged…
October 19, 2007 12:20 AM Print
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