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Duelfer: 'A lot of material left Iraq and went to Syria'

Special to World Tribune.com
GEOSTRATEGY-DIRECT.COM
Monday, October 18, 2004

Charles Duelfer told the Senate Armed Services Committee earlier this month he could not rule out Saddam's transfer of Iraqi missiles and weapons of mass destruction to Syria.

Charles Duelfer, head of the Iraq Survey Group, pauses during an Senate Armed Services committee on Oct. 6, in Washington.
Duelfer, an adviser to the CIA, said at the Oct. 6 hearing that a large amount of material had been transferred by Iraq to Syria before the March 2003 war.

"A lot of materials left Iraq and went to Syria," Duelfer said. "There was certainly a lot of traffic across the border points. We've got a lot of data to support that, including people discussing it. But whether in fact in any of these trucks there was WMD-related materials, I cannot say."

The Iraq Survey Group, headed by Duelfer, said Russia, Syria, Jordan and other arms suppliers were paid from Iraqi oil revenues.

A CIA report, authored by the Iraq Survey Group, identified Russia and Syria atop a list of 12 arms suppliers to Iraq until the U.S.-led war against Baghdad started in March 2003.

The report listed Russia and Syria above North Korea regarded as the leading missile proliferator to the Middle East as leading suppliers to Baghdad.

Jordan was the third largest supplier of weapons to Iraq.

Duelfer (left), speaks with General Joseph J. McMenamin, military commander of the Iraq Survey Group, before start of the Senate Armed Services committee meeting.
After Jordan came Belarus, China, India, North Korea, South Korea, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Ukraine, France, Romania and Turkey. The report said these countries were involved in both "weapons of mass destruction and arms-related procurement."

The report said Saddam diverted money from the UN oil-for-food program to pay for both conventional and nonconventional weapons and components.

The report said state-owned companies in Russia and Syria defied UN sanctions and supplied weapons and platforms to Baghdad. The report said Syria also served as the leading route for illegal arms supplies from Europe and other countries.

Several of Iraq's neighbors were said to have joined in the secret military effort to aid Baghdad. The report based on interviews with senior Iraqi officials and 40 million pages of documents and classified intelligence cited Jordan and Turkey as leading suppliers to the Saddam regime.


Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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