Report: Syria Smuggling Chemical Weapons to Iraq
Syria’s government has responded to pressure over a recent chemical weapons massacre by promising to give up its chemical weapons. However, according to the Lebanese paper Al-Mustaqbal, its method of disposal has been to ship the weapons to Iraq.
The paper reported that roughly 20 Syrian trucks crossed into Iraq under heavy guard on Thursday and Friday, without undergoing cargo checks.
Al-Mustaqbal is affiliated with the anti-Syrian camp in Lebanese politics. The paper also quoted an Iraqi official as denying that his country has received chemical weapons shipments.
“These accusations are all rumors and useless and no one believes them,” said Saad Maan, a spokesperson for Iraq’s Interior Ministry.
Iraqi officials issued a similar denial last week after Salim Idriss, a general in the Syrian rebel group Free Syrian Army, reported the movement of Syrian chemical weapons to Iraq.
“Iraq is against the possession of these weapons and other weapons of mass destruction anywhere in the world and under any pretext,” said Ali al-Mosawi, an advisor to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
Syria has agreed to a Russian proposal that will see its chemical weapons arsenal destroyed in the upcoming year. Under the agreement, Syria must provide a complete list of all the chemical weapons in its possession within the week.
In the next stage, international supervisors will visit the chemical weapons sites. Syria will also be required to stop producing chemical weapons.
Two senior Republican senators in the United States have slammed the agreement as “meaningless.”