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September 19, 2007

Jane Claim: Syrian Chem-Warhead Explosion Killed Iranian "Advisors"

Bonus damage. And Jane's Defense Weekly isn't some flakey Internet rumor site. Doesn't mean it's true, but it's better intelligence than our own idiots can manage.

An accidental explosion in a secret weapons facility in Syria killed dozens of Syrian and Iranian military engineers as they were trying to mount a chemical warhead on a Scud missile in July, a report has claimed.

Fifteen military personnel and “dozens” of Iranian advisers died when the fuel for the missile caught fire and the weapon exploded.

A cloud of chemical and nerve gases, that included the deadly VX and Sarin agents as well as mustard gas, was sent across the facility in the northern city of Aleppo, according to a new report in Jane's Defence Weekly.

The July 26 explosion had been reported earlier by the official Syrian news agency Sana, which said that only 15 Syrian military personnel were killed and 50 others injured in an accident involving “very explosive products.” It made no mention of Iranian officers also being killed in the blast, which it said was not an act of sabotage.

The engineers were trying to weaponise a Syrian-made Scud missile with a range of around 300 miles when the explosion occurred.

The Iranian engineers were working at the facility as part of a 2005 strategic co-operation agreement between the two countries, whose close ties are seen by Israel and the United States as a major threat to regional security.

Jane’s Defence Weekly said the project included Iranian assistance to develop five pilot facilities in Syria to produce chemical weapons, allowing Syria to advance its programme of such non-conventional weapons that it began in the 1970s.

The report coincided with widespread speculation that an audacious Israeli air strike against another Syrian facility two weeks ago may have destroyed a nuclear shipment from North Korea.

Via Dave in Texas.

Here's a sample report along those lines from Drudge.

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posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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