Gas Week

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Israel and US at war with Syria and Iran: mystery explosion at Syrian military installation near Aleppo followed by 6 September F-15Is bomber attack

Posted by gasweek on 26 September, 2007

The Syria installation where the July 26 explosion occurred is in the same general area as the alSafir site where the Israeli air attack was carried out on September 6 but there has thus far not been any indication of a connection between the two events. Jane’s Defence Weekly, a respected British journal, reported an explosion in a Syrian military installation near Aleppo on July 26 killed 15 Syrian soldiers and dozens of Iranian weapons engineers.

According to Jane’s, a joint Syrian-Iranian project at the installation was under way to fit chemical warheads to short-range ballistic missiles. Syria’s state news agency, SANA, said the blast was caused by high summer temperatures, which set off high-explosive materials at a weapons depot.The magazine quoted Syrian opposition sources as saying that vehicles destined for car-bomb attacks in Iraq were prepared in the same Syrian installation by Iranians from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as well as Syrian intelligence

Scud-C missile with a mustard-gas warhead: But Jane’s quoted Syrian defence sources as saying the explosion took place during a test to fit a Scud-C missile with a mustard-gas warhead. “The blast dispersed chemical agents (including VX and Sarin nerve agents and mustard blister agents) across the storage facility and outside,” it reported.

According to London’s Sunday Times, the head of Israel’s Mossad, Meir Dagan, had informed Mr Olmert that Syria was attempting to purchase nuclear weapons from North Korea. On September 6: According to Abraham Rabinovich, Israel had carried out an air attack against a site inside Syria. The Israelis had reportedly tracked a ship bearing cargo from North Korea to a Syrian port and monitored the cargo’s transfer to the site, which was attacked a few days later, on September 6. Neither the precise nature of the cargo nor the effect of the air attack has been revealed. An American official said Israel had been monitoring the site, at al-Safir, for some time before the arrival of the North Korean shipment.

SAS sneak in to plant target devices: Before the night-time air attack, on Israeli commandos reportedly infiltrated the area to mark the target with laser beams for the planes.

Ofek 7 spy satellite re-routed: Reports that advanced F-15Is were used in the attack were seen by some commentators as a warning to Iran, because the aircraft, whose range extends over 2400km, could be used to attack Iranian nuclear facilities. Israeli sources have said that Israel’s Ofek 7 spy satellite, normally focused on Iran, was shifted before the attack to cover the alSafir site, described by Syria as an agricultural station.

The Australian, 21/9/2007, p. 11

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