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Letter to the editor: Syria, Iraq chemical weapons swaps

Friday, October 25, 2013 - 12:01 am

Inspectors are reviewing the list of chemical weapons provided by Syria and working on destroying the known chemical stockpiles and equipment. However, American and Middle East officials said Syria’s elite Unit 450, which runs Assad’s chemical weapons program, scattered the weapons across Syria and into Iraq.

A Lebanese newspaper reported 20 trucks loaded with equipment and chemical weapons were driven across the border into Iraq on Sept. 12-13. The trucks were not inspected by the border guards.

Some of these chemical weapons going to Iraq could be weapons that were moved from Iraq into Syria prior to the Iraqi war. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who formerly headed the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, stated in October 2003, “Satellite imagery showed a heavy flow of truck traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion in March 2003.”

In January 2006, Gen. Geoges Sada, an Iraqi general under Saddam Hussein, claimed Iraq moved WMDs into Syria before the war, which were loaded on civilian aircraft and multiple truck convoys.

Iraq and Syria have been playing a WMD swap game for many years, which should be thoroughly investigated and ended with the destruction of these weapons.

Donald A. Moskowitz

Londonderry, N.H.