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Syria Hiding Iraqi WMDs
World Net Daily ^ | 6 January AD 2004 | -

Posted on 01/07/2004 5:12:20 AM PST by Ryan Bailey

Report: Syria hiding Iraqi WMD

A relative of Syrian President Bashar Assad is hiding Iraqi weapons of mass destruction in three locations in Syria, according to intelligence sources cited by an exiled opposition party. The weapons were smuggled in large wooden crates and barrels by Zu Alhema al-Shaleesh, known for moving arms into Iraq in violation of U.N. resolutions and for sending recruits to fight coalition forces, said the U.S.-based Reform Party of Syria.

The party, based in Potomac, Md., regards itself as a secular body comprised of Syrians who want to see the country embrace "real democratic and economic reforms."

One weapons-cache location identified by the sources is a mountain tunnel near the village of al-Baidah in northwest Syria, the report said. The tunnel is known to house a branch of the Assad regime's national security apparatus.

Two other arms supplies are reported to be in west-central Syria. One is hidden at a factory operated by the Syrian Air Force, near the village of Tal Snan, between the cities of Hama and Salmiyeh. The third location is tunnels beneath the small town of Shinshar, which belongs to the 661 battalion of the Syrian Air Force.

The nephew of Zu Alhema al-Shaleesh, Assef al-Shaleesh, runs Al Bashair Trading Co., a front for the Assad family involved prior to the war in oil smuggling from Iraq and arms smuggling into the country. Al-Bashair has offices in Damascus, Beirut and Baghdad.

In an exclusive interview yesterday with the London Telegraph, Assad came close to admitting his country possessed stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.

Assad told the London paper Syria rejects American and British demands for concessions on weapons of mass destruction, insisting Damascus is entitled to defend itself by acquiring its own chemical and biological deterrent.

He said Israel must agree to abandon its undeclared nuclear arsenal in order for Syria to consider any deal with the U.S.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported Al Bashair Trading Co. participated in the smuggling of millions of dollars worth of sophisticated arms and equipment to Saddam Hussein for three years prior to the Iraqi leader's overthrow.

Al Bashair executives met with North Korean firms before the war began, according to the Los Angeles daily. The paper's three-month investigation included the translation of 800 signed contracts found in the Al Bashair Trading Co. office shortly before U.S. troops entered Baghdad.

Just prior to the U.S.-led effort to oust Hussein, SES International Corp. signed at least 50 contracts to supply weapons and gear to Iraq, the Times said, including 1,000 heavy machine guns and up to 20 million rounds for assault rifles.

Not all the weapons were delivered, but some may still be in use by terrorists battling the U.S. occupation forces, the newspaper said.

At least one shipment of arms was completed with the help of the Syrian government in violation of a U.N. arms embargo.

SES International Corp. denied any wrongdoing, while Syria's foreign ministry refused to comment to the Times.


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: iraq; iraqiwmds; sadaam; syria; wmd
Another Smoking Gun ?
1 posted on 01/07/2004 5:12:20 AM PST by Ryan Bailey
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To: Ryan Bailey
Another Smoking Gun ?

said the U.S.-based Reform Party of Syria.

After the record of the INC, I wouldn't put much stock in these outfits. They have an agenda.

2 posted on 01/07/2004 5:29:04 AM PST by steve50 ("There is Tranquility in Ignorance, but Servitude is its Partner.")
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To: Ryan Bailey
More like flaming howitzer
3 posted on 01/07/2004 5:29:52 AM PST by eclectic
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To: eclectic
Agreed. This stuff has been trucked out of Iraq to Syria for a very long time.
4 posted on 01/07/2004 5:34:58 AM PST by sarasota
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To: Ryan Bailey
Sounds pretty darn specific to me....
5 posted on 01/07/2004 5:35:29 AM PST by b4its2late (We may be alone. We may not be alone. Either way, the thought is staggering.)
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To: sarasota
This stuff has been trucked out of Iraq to Syria for a very long time.

Yes - with special thanks to the UN, France, Germany, and other "friends" for delaying, obstructing and foot-dragging to give Iraq plenty of time to "clean house" before we finally went in.

6 posted on 01/07/2004 5:38:23 AM PST by trebb
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To: sarasota
Didn't Colin Powell mention satellite pictures of convoys leaving Iraq and going to Syria in the fall of '02 when he spoke to the UN? As I recall, he said they feared that WMD were being moved out of Iraq.
7 posted on 01/07/2004 5:44:32 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Ryan Bailey
Runmsfield is getting a 4 star general to take over for the 3 star general. Couple that with the news the Marines are being brought back into the area this spring. My guess on hearing that was that Rumsfield is delegating his Iraq duties to get ready for the next target. Syria ?
8 posted on 01/07/2004 5:45:09 AM PST by VRWC_minion (Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and most are right)
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To: trebb
WOT? The US armed forces weren´t ready to start combat until the actual beginning of the war! The time schedule was made in DC and not in Paris, Moscow or Berlin.
9 posted on 01/07/2004 5:46:56 AM PST by Michael81Dus
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To: steve50
ASSAD, President of Syria admitted it.

Syria will not renounce WMD, insists Assad
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/world/story/0,4386,228820,00.html

LONDON - Syrian President Bashar Assad yesterday rejected British and United States calls to renounce weapons of mass destruction (WMD), saying Syria was entitled to defend itself.

Asked about American and British claims that Syria had such weapons, London's Daily Telegraph reported that he stopped short of the categorical denial which had been his government's stock response until now.

Instead, he pointed to Israel's recent attack on alleged Palestinian bases in Syria and the occupation of the Golan Heights as evidence that Damascus needed a deterrent.

'We are a country which is occupied and, from time to time, we are exposed to Israeli aggression,' he said.

'It is natural for us to look for means to defend ourselves. It is not difficult to get most of these weapons anywhere in the world and they can be obtained at any time.'

10 posted on 01/07/2004 5:47:35 AM PST by FairOpinion
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To: Peach
And I saw a report on the History Channel which supported this. They said that truck convoys at night from Iraq to Syria was the favored means of transport.
11 posted on 01/07/2004 5:50:28 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota
How I wish I'd seen that show on the History Channel. They have been showing some newer shows lately and we've seen several on Saddam and his sons, etc.
12 posted on 01/07/2004 5:51:51 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Ryan Bailey
Unpossible! The Dems claim there never were any WMD's! On a more serious note, since they have released the whereabouts now, how long before they move this stuff?
13 posted on 01/07/2004 5:52:19 AM PST by Normal4me
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To: Peach
I wonder if it's archived somewhere. It completely blew my mind. The details were staggering. Anybody got any ideas?
14 posted on 01/07/2004 5:52:56 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota
It will be rerun and I'll be sure to check in each evening. I wish our TV Guide listed the evening's platform. I will DEFINITELY be looking for it; thanks for the heads up.
15 posted on 01/07/2004 5:56:49 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: Peach
I just went to historychannel.com and sent them an email asking if this program is available on video and if not, will it be re-aired anytime soon. Will let you know.
16 posted on 01/07/2004 5:58:04 AM PST by sarasota
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To: sarasota
Thanks, sarasota!

I'd seen a show on the History Channel some time ago about Hitler supporters after the war still killing our soldiers, as well as allied soldiers, and compared it to what is happening in Iraq now. Unfortunately, I was unable to find specific information on their web site in order to direct freepers to the show/information.
17 posted on 01/07/2004 5:59:32 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: sarasota
This revelation does not surprise me. The hiatus between September 2002 and early March 2003, between the time the US announced intentions to hold Saddam accountable, through all the time France balked the entire world from taking any action through the UN, until the pursuit of Saddam began in earnest, 18-wheelers were hammering across the western desert of Iraq to the Bekaa Valley in Syria, around the clock and in convoy, fully loaded westbound and deadheading back. And the cargo did not all stop in Syria.

A sizable quantity was transhipped to Libya, the Palestinian Authority and Yemen, among other places. Saddam was having a fire sale, right under our noses.
18 posted on 01/07/2004 6:01:22 AM PST by alloysteel
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To: Ryan Bailey
While I certainly believe that Hussein had WMDs and we might yet find them in Iraq, I feel the admin should have stressed Hussein's overall support of terrorism and his failure to comply with UN resolution 1441 over the WMDs. I knew that there would be no huge blinking neon sign just outside Baghdad with gigantic arrows pointing to the spot where they were hid. Because Iraq is so huge and Hussein had plenty of time to either hide them well, ship them out, or destroy them, we might never find them. But we are on much firmer ground when we stress the other reasons for deposing Saddam.
19 posted on 01/07/2004 6:04:06 AM PST by driftless ( For life-long happiness, learn how to play the accordion.)
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To: Ryan Bailey
Well if they were there they aren't anymore...
20 posted on 01/07/2004 6:04:55 AM PST by DB ()
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To: DB


It isn't as big as Iraq....easier to "find" those Nukes.
21 posted on 01/07/2004 6:15:50 AM PST by Dallas59
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To: Peach
Didn't Colin Powell mention satellite pictures of convoys leaving Iraq and going to Syria in the fall of '02 when he spoke to the UN?

I recall reading an article last summer which stated our spooks tracked a convoy of some 1300 vehicles leaving Iraq for Syria the night the war started. The question is, why didn't we stop them?

22 posted on 01/07/2004 6:52:52 AM PST by Thermalseeker
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To: Thermalseeker
We may have stopped some of them with special ops; don't know. If we didn't stop them, we certainly should have.
23 posted on 01/07/2004 6:55:12 AM PST by Peach (The Clintons have pardoned more terrorists than they ever captured or killed.)
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To: FairOpinion
If you try and "read between the lines" on this issue..it sound to me like Bashir is getting set up to be the "fall guy" for this by the hard-core Baathists is Syria...they'll try to sacrifice him to avoid a regime change by the US..and since he can't be allowed to talk, he's gonna be "assassinated"...I'd give him 3 months, max..more to live..
24 posted on 01/07/2004 8:05:07 AM PST by ken5050
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To: ken5050
As discussed in an earlier thread, this is an attempt by Assad to avoid bad PR. He will give up the WMD's when it suits him politically.

The US is talking to Syria. Mark my words, the noose is tightening around Assads neck, not by the US but by Israel. Assad knows that Isreal will not hesitate to send in an airstrike to eliminate those weapons. However, to destroy them means that the WMD's will not become available to the administration.

This is a delicate situation and only someone that has a long term relationship and understanding of the Middle east will be brought in to get this deal done.

Can anyone say James Baker?
25 posted on 01/07/2004 9:04:11 AM PST by EQAndyBuzz (GORE LOST. DEAL WITH IT!!!)
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To: EQAndyBuzz
Yup..join the IDF and visit beautiful downtown Damascus this spring...I think everyone gives Assad way too much credit...he's a figurehead..brought in because the various factions in the party wanted to avoid a bloodbath when the old man died...I think that the hard line Baathists believe, mistakenly, that if they sacrifice him they can buy time....WRONG....Syria's fate it linked to Iran..if the Mullahs fall, then the crazies in southern Lebanon, who are controlled by Iran, will be loose...they have all those rockets, and they'll be tempted to go out launching..Israel will NEVER allow that..they'll invade Lebanon, and the IDF armor will stop the drive in Damascus..after all, in for a penny, in for a camel, right?...
26 posted on 01/07/2004 9:16:59 AM PST by ken5050
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