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That other mysterious 2007 explosion in Syria

That other mysterious 2007 explosion in Syria

Not the destruction in September 2007 of the nuke facility likely being built with the help of the Norks.

Via Jerusalem Post, a story I had not heard before, Syria’s chemical weapons program has been focus of Israeli intelligence operations since the mid-1970s.

It was July 2007 and in Aleppo, Syria, the muezzins were just starting to issue the early-morning call for prayers. It was a different Syria at the time – Bashar Assad’s rule appeared stable and was not threatened by rebels. Barely anyone knew that not far from the city, Assad was building a nuclear reactor that would be destroyed a few months later in a lightning Israeli airstrike.

But then the city was rocked by an explosion. Looking out their windows, residents could see smoke rising from a military base located on the outskirts of the ancient city.

The damage was isolated to a single building, one that very few people – even those who served in the base – knew the purpose of.

Fifteen people were reported killed and several dozen more were rushed to the Aleppo University Hospital nearby with severe burns all over their bodies. Later, some residents would hear rumors about a number of Iranians being among the wounded and yelling out in Farsi as they were treated for their wounds.

The Syrians immediately blocked off the base and prevented the media from reaching the scene. They also tried to destroy any evidence of the work that was taking place inside.

The problem with the Syrian claim was that the explosion took place at 4:30 a.m., almost two hours before sunrise, when cool breezes were still coming in over the hilltops from the Mediterranean Sea some 150 kilometers away.

A few months would pass before the real nature of the explosion was to be revealed.

Apparently, the base everyone in Aleppo thought was an old arms dump was really one of the most secretive installations in Syria’s chemical weapons program. The nondescript building that was destroyed in the blast had been a sophisticated laboratory used to manufacture non-conventional warheads with VX, Sarin and mustard gas.

More at the link, including details about what will happen to the chemical weapons if Assad falls.


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For background on Syria, from Caroline Glick: The Syrian Spring 3.28.11

And more recently from Caroline Glick on Obama, Syria and Turkey (Obama’s Mideast Fantasy Land: Jerusalem Post June 1, 2012 “Obama’s willingness to sit on his thumbs for 14 months as Syrian President Bashar Assad has killed as many as 15,000 of his countrymen owes in part to Obama’s desire to win the trust of the ayatollahs in Tehran. Since Assad is Iran’s client, any US move to overthrow him would weaken Iran. And since as far as Obama is concerned Iran doesn’t have anything against the US, but simply suffers from a chronic lack of trust in Washington, it would be wrong to harm Tehran’s interests by overthrowing the ayatollahs’ Syrian lackey.

Obama’s Syria policy is not only a product of his fantasy-based policy towards Iran. It is also a consequence of his fantasy-based policy towards Turkey. Rather than intervene early in the conflict and support pro-Western forces in Syria as an alternative to Assad’s tyranny, Obama outsourced the organization of the Syrian opposition to Turkey’s Islamic Prime Minister Recip Erdogan.

In Obama’s fantasy world, Erdogan is a great ally of the US. The fact that Erdogan has redefined Turkey away from the West and towards Tehran and the Muslim Brotherhood; rendered incoherent NATO’s strategic mission; ended Turkey’s strategic alliance with Israel; used advanced US arms to kill Kurdish civilians, and threatens war in the eastern Mediterranean over natural gas deposits that do not belong to him is irrelevant. All that matters is the fantasy that Erdogan is America’s friend. And since Obama embraces this fantasy, he subcontracted the formation of the Turkish opposition to Erdogan.

Lo and behold, the opposition Erdogan established was dominated by the Muslim Brotherhood. And now, according to a report by Jacques Neriah from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Syrian opposition is dominated not only by the Muslim Brotherhood, but increasingly by al-Qaida. So whereas a year ago the US had an opportunity to build and shepherd into power a multiethnic, pro-Western Syrian opposition, in the throes of his fantasies about Iran and Turkey, Obama squandered the opportunity. As a result, today we are faced with the grim reality that the world might be safer leaving Assad alone than intervening to overthrow him”

Leave it to the Israelis to take down weapons of mass destruction in secret.
Leave it to Obama to expose them so he can score points with the muslims.

We had a different President then. One thing G.W. could do was keep his mouth shut. The contrast between now & then is black & white. Also he didn’t take credit for others work.

    98ZJUSMC in reply to secondwind. | June 15, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    I had a lot of gripes with GW, primarily spending, but he was so far above this vaudeville act it’s ridiculous.

No one talks about the Ba’ath Party…

Like it was born of Saddam, and died with him-


For God’s sake, people, there WERE WMD’s in Iraq, and they are now in Syria.
My husband was there in 2003, and was told, saw the transfer, and it’s idiotic to think those weapons vanished.
The media can lie about their existence, but Syria now has the weapons.
Why do you think they are not afraid of the “uprising”?

I’m glad you’re covering this, but you don’t know the half of it.

    BannedbytheGuardian in reply to Tamminator. | June 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    L L S S

    98ZJUSMC in reply to Tamminator. | June 15, 2012 at 11:22 pm

    That’s exactly where they went. There was a quick newsflash about it, at the time, and then everything about it went dead silent.

      BannedbytheGuardian in reply to 98ZJUSMC. | June 16, 2012 at 12:08 am

      A single newsflash is not much of a conspiracy plot. Tammy is doing much better.

      I can give some help if you’d like.

      PS – you need to place the newsflash in Israel . Much more intriguing.

There is an increasing risk of losing weapons of mass destruction to terrorists as unstable governments fall.

The recent leaks from the White House makes combating these risks even more difficult.

The biggest of these risks is Pakistan and I fear that this administration does not have a viable “plan B” at the ready.

Fearsome times indeed…

BannedbytheGuardian | June 15, 2012 at 10:30 pm

Israeli media makes stuff up all the time.Explosions do occur in military bases because military bases have loads of explosives.

The idea that after such an explosion the media would be allowed in to investigate is ridiculous.

The idea that anyone that is not high security ( & that means Syrian style ) would get near the site is ridiculous. In this case destroying the evidence would involve extreme & hazardous measures .

The Syrian military is not some 3rd world outfit. They would have Medical Response team on site. They would OWN the local hospital .

Not saying it did not happen but the write -up is stupid.


Something went boom. What an awful shame.

Just one of those accidents that happen all the time.

At 4:30 am. Amid Farsi-speakers. In Syria.


Obama is too busy seeing to it that the terrorists in Libya have enough anti-aircraft missiles to worry about making sure the terrorists in Syria are properly armed. He will get around to that in his second term.