Report: Blast at Syria base stopped installation of chem warheads
LONDON — A blast that killed dozens of Iranian and Syrian military
officers stopped a joint program to install chemical weapons warheads on
Scud-class ballistic missiles.
The London-based Jane's Defence Weekly reported that 15 Syrian officers
and dozens of Iranian engineers were killed in a blast at a missile and
chemical weapons facility near Aleppo on July 23. The magazine reported that
the blast shook the northeastern Syrian military base during the
installation of a CW
warhead on a Scud-class ballistic missile.
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[On Wednesday, Singapore reported that a local cargo company was fined
$14,500 for trying to export missile components to Iran. A Singaporean
official said the missile components arrived in Singapore from Switzerland
and were meant for reexport to Iran.]
During installation, the warhead exploded and a fire raged through a
building that held containers of VX and mustard gas, Jane's said in a Sept.
17 report. Many of the Iranians and Syrians in the building were killed.
The explosion took place in a Syrian military base that contained
facilities constructed by Iran. In 2005, Iran and Syria were said to have
signed an agreement for missile and weapons of mass destruction development.
"Iran has entered into strategic cooperation with Syria on conventional
and nonconventional weapons development," Israeli Internal Security Minister
Avi Dichter said on Wednesday. "They [Iranians] are very big in Syria."
Jane's reported that the blast aborted an Iranian-Syrian project to
install CW warheads on the Scud B, C and D ballistic missiles. The Scud C
and D have ranges of 550 and 700 kilometers, respectively.
On July 26, Syria, who has refused to sign the Chemical Weapons
Convention, reported a blast at a northern military base outside Aleppo. But
the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad attributed the blast to
munitions that exploded from extreme heat. The blast was reported to have
taken place at 3 a.m.