Home » Air » Report: Syria fitting fighters with chemical weapons

Report: Syria fitting fighters with chemical weapons

by Mike Hoffman on January 3, 2013

Syria’s air force has retrofitted MiG-21 fighters with remote flight systems and the capability to carry chemical weapons, according to a Flight Global report.

The evidence was found in June 2012 when a Syrian pilot flew a MiG-21 from Syria to King Hussein airport in Jordan. Analysts found the MiG-21 could be flown remotely and could “carry and dispense a ‘deadly volume’ of chemical warfare agents,” according to Flight Global’s report.

President Obama has said that the use of chemical weapons would force the U.S. to get involved with the Syrian civil war. A report of retrofitting a MiG-21 goes along with other reports of additional activity at the sites where the Syrian army stocked their chemical weapons like the deadly nerve agent, Sarin.

The details on the system built onto the MiG-21 to carry chemical weapons are not known. It was expected the Syrians could simply adapt bombs to carry and dispense chemical weapons and make sure the explosive distribute and not destroy the chemical agents.

It’s also fascinating to read that they could build a remote system into a MiG-21 fighter. That is a not a simply feat for an air force like Syria’s. They Syrian military is known for their air defense network, not their unmanned flight capabilities.  Again, it will be interesting to monitor how effective that system might be and how it works.

Flight Global’s Stephen Trimble reported how the evidence of the Syrians adapting their fighters to carry chemical weapons is making the Israelis nervous. Israeli Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel has said the Israelis are preparing themselves “with potential threats” to include chemical weapons “flowing” out of Israel.

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{ 135 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark January 3, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Why dont we just send a sniper team in and take his ass out already and call it a day.

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Prodozul January 3, 2013 at 1:21 pm

Odds are he's in a bunker somewhere…

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SJE January 3, 2013 at 9:08 pm

Its not like Libya.

The Alawites, Alevis, Jews, Druze, Shia and Christians were treated like sh#t for centuries by the Ottomans, who were Sunni. The Alawites are now on top, and are supported by all the other minorities who are afraid. They have good reason to be afraid: there are a lot of Sunni jihadis funded by the Gulf states, Al Queda people etc, who have been fine slaughtering Alawites.

It took billions of $US and US lives to quell the relatively more simple problems of Iraq, where there were only 3 main groups, and they were more geographically separated. In Syria, there are many groups living right on top of each other.

Then there are the neighbors have their own religious and ethnic problems which would blow up if they intervened in the wrong way. e.g. Turkey still treats its Kurds and Alevis as second class citizens. Lebanon has three main groups. Israel is not exactly peaceful. Iraq is just getting back on its feet. Iran is trying to build nukes….. etc.

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blight_ January 4, 2013 at 10:29 am

Essentially correct; but the Kurds live in Syria, Iraq and Turkey. Incidentally, Kurdish areas of Turkey are the ones that used to be full of Christians before the Genocide-That-Never-Happened.

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SJE January 4, 2013 at 11:52 am

There are also Kurds in Iran. Christians and Jews used to be spread throughout the Ottoman empire.

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crackedlenses January 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

Many of the areas the Muslims came to dominate were predominately Christian.

tiger January 4, 2013 at 5:15 am

"WE?" Uh, Mark If you care that much about Syria; you can hop a plane to Turkey & join the fun.

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Menzie January 6, 2013 at 12:54 am

Umm, because it is not just one man the regime is made of. There are many family members, also Christian groups are on his side, etc etc etc.

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sargmack January 19, 2013 at 1:07 pm

not that simple . i wish it was.

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Charley A January 3, 2013 at 1:32 pm

"…chemical weapons flowing out of Israel." Shouldn't it be out of Syria?

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a guest January 4, 2013 at 4:04 pm

looks like a mis-read, from linked flight-global article :

" [...] "We don't know what will happen the day after Assad falls," he says. "We are preparing ourselves for this, and for the eventuality of weapons flowing out of Syria." "

a question on the context of the quote, was the air force commander responding to issue of syria's chemical weapons or general weapons flowing out of syria like those surface-to-air missiles and stuff? :

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Andy January 4, 2013 at 6:54 pm

I took it to mean that the Israelies would retaliate in kind.

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David Powell January 7, 2013 at 4:04 pm
Menzie January 6, 2013 at 12:55 am

Yeah I found a few spelling and grammar mistakes, normally I dont find them here. I hope it is not a trend. Oh maybe my 9 year old nephew is on the staff. :)

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Punkinjr January 13, 2013 at 2:21 am
Punkinjr January 13, 2013 at 2:22 am
Civil Service Pawn January 3, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Sounds like a good testing ground for the M.O.P.

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steve January 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm

It seems as if the Western World keeps "UNDERESTIMATING the capabilities of the Moslem World, as far as Technial abitliues, and the the support, they are receiving from all over this world, with their OIL MONEY as payment for services rendered???
It is no longer all camels and desert scens folks….. Those wrap around rags on their heads, is to keep them cool not stupid….

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Lance January 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Its going to happen its dumb of the media to be shocked the Alawites are losing and may resort to WMDs to turn the tide but any nation would do that against a enemy just as genocidal as they are.

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Musson January 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm

But – using WMD's will give Obama the chance he is looking for to get American forces involved.

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guest January 4, 2013 at 7:47 pm

what are you talking about?

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BAJ January 3, 2013 at 4:36 pm

What a god awful mess. A case study in no win situations. Really sorry for the noncoms caught in the middle, but we need to steer clear of this party.

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SJE January 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm

Yep. I personally blame the Russians and Chinese. This was always going to be very difficult, but if the Russians and Chinese were more cooperative, we could have tried to find some political solution. Instead the Russkies and Chicoms allowed Assad to dig a deeper hole and turn a largely political conflict into a bloody religious war. This is going to be worse than Yugoslavia. I cannot see how this gets resolved without some break up of the country.

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Kole January 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The Middle East needs help. I'm not saying start another war, I mean we need to really try something. Chemical weapon usage is no bueno.

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Mike January 3, 2013 at 5:21 pm

NATO (and in particular the US) should not get involved. It will end up with a bunch of Jihadists turning against the "imperialist oppressor" (that's you guys) and a bunch of good service personnel coming home in body bags all for naught.

The middle east is all fucked up and it's time to just let them get on and kill each other… be there at the end to help pick up the pieces. Harsh but true.

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gest January 5, 2013 at 1:31 am

This philosophy sounds vaguely familiar maybe the Balkans around 1914…

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JohnnyRanger January 6, 2013 at 10:37 am

Yes and no. In '14, the Central Powers stepped in (on paper and among other "legit" excuses) to defend Christian minorities, but really it was an excuse to justify starting a war that they believed was mathematically impossible to lose and that would check the power of the empires on their flanks. Prior to that, I agree that the great powers, having divvied up the Balkans after Crimea, were happy to let them kill each other off as long as nobody got too crazy about it, and I agree that it sure sounds analogous to today! The missing component in Syria, I think, is the ulterior motive. I think (at least I hope) that the Western powers sincerely just don't want to see mass slaughter of civilian via WMDs, notwithstanding the double standard of their being OK with the comparatively lesser slaughter of civilians via conventional munitions. I don't think, for example that anyone is willing to intervene to check anyone else's power or influence.

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JE McKellar January 3, 2013 at 6:51 pm
James January 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm

And there I thought it was chemo TRUCKS? I must have been mixing up all these unfounded and unproven allegations in the last years to excuse regime changes.

But why after all the time Syria would only NOW use chemical weapons “to kill its own civilians” when they have gained the clear upper hand against the foreign armed terrorists and are taking back their country day by day? Couldn’t have murdering Asssad not just have “his own people” all gassed from day one?

Someone’s spec op’s failed or run out of terrorist and mercenaries willing to die in Syria? Heard after well trained unarmed peaceful demonstrating civilian sniper squads targeted not just Syrian reporter and camera teams documenting the truth, but murdered a several Russian reporter recently either, Russia has sent in their special forces to deal with certain other nations mercenaries and special forces slaughtering and destroying Syrian infrastructure .

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Harry January 7, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Don't try and use logic with the morons posting here. Look at how stupid most of them are.

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NeoconBrony January 4, 2013 at 2:44 am

Obama drew a clear red line on the use of chemical weapons and he will use force to bring down the Assad regime if they do use them. What part of that didn't these assclowns understand? He has Navy Seal teams and drone fleets that were involved in secret raids on Al-Qaeda at his disposal. Assad is nothing the President but the another target. He will order the military to wipe Assad out with precision the likes of which have never been seen before on earth, mark my words. Does he think he's safe in his bunker ordering his troops to use chemical weapons remotely? Think again. The US has spies everywhere and they will find him, so he'd better prepare for a storm. The kind of storm that wipes out the pathetic thing this despot calls his life. That boy is dead. Not only does Obama have access to the United States' black ops forces, he controls our overt forces as well and can unleash the B-2s at any time to wipe Assad off the face of the continent. If only he had stopped to consider the kind of unholy retibution Brarak would unleash upon him if he used chemical weapons, maybe he would have just manned up and killed himself instead. But he couldn't he didn't, and now he's going to pay the price. That boy is dead.

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Tiger January 4, 2013 at 5:28 am
NeoconBrony January 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

It was already too late with them, the Bush let them get nukes. Now bin Laden and Qaddafi on the other hand…

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Matt January 7, 2013 at 11:05 am

You are an Obamabot Retard – Class A

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blight_ January 7, 2013 at 11:11 am

Face it, nobody's ever gotten much out of North Korea since Kim Il Sung. They still have the freakin' Pueblo. They got away with the Axe Murders and built invasion tunnels with no retribution, either from the Republic of Korea or the United States.

crackedlenses January 7, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Clinton gave them the tech to build it in exchange for a promise not to build it.

Not saying Bush couldn't have stopped them, but still. The Norks well on their way to nukes before Bush got in.

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Warfighter January 4, 2013 at 8:04 am

Slow down, there buddy. There's more complex issues here to manage than simply Syria. One of the reasons Russia and China have a keen eye to making life difficult to respond to the situation is that Western intervention into these non-international armed conflicts has gotten closer to home. If Syria were to fall, then there'd be very few places left for the West to object to until they are running up against how Russia and China deal with their own internal issues (Chechnya, Muslim issues in Western China), which hve been handled in similar manners as the early days of the Syrian conflict.

If the West were to openly intervene in Syria, there are good chances that other powerful allies could get drawn in in some form or other and make this thing explode. This is indeed a significant powderkeg. We have already seen Russian technical assistance and naval movements in support of Syria. From their point f view, it makes senseto continue to support Assad. It would not surprise me if at least some form of help was provided to develop this drone capability.

I would also want to confirm the validity if the reporting of the drone technology. Was the aircraft being flown a one-off demonstrator? Is it truly an accurate report? Both sides (Government and Rebel) in this crisis are using information ops extensively, and there has been reporting that both sides may have access and the will to employ some form of chemical weaponry. The last time WMDs were brought up as a reason for us to declare war on another country, we were wrong.

I am not saying that this is not a serious issue which musqt not be dealt with, but we must guard against emotional reactions if we are to navigate this crisis with any chance of success (the criteria for success here rmain very loose). Watch, breathe, think, then react.

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blight_ January 4, 2013 at 10:28 am

Agreed. No more stupid Curveball lie machines.

We should have poisoned Curveball a long time ago for his lies. Now we can't trust anyone to simply deliver another package of lies to our doorstep.

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Matt January 7, 2013 at 11:06 am

LOL what a crock. President Momjeans will sit in the Oval Office and eat salad for the next 4 years.

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Anonymous January 14, 2013 at 12:44 am

Nice copy and paste job there, Broseph.

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charlie g January 4, 2013 at 8:40 am

do you really believe Obama, will take out the head of state of a foreign country? I think it needs to be done, but wonder if Obama will order it.

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blight_ January 4, 2013 at 10:27 am

We haven't taken out a head of state since the Diem brothers, and that didn't help matters.

This isn't like the head of a snake, people.

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SJE January 4, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Not directly, but that was basically the end result in Libya, just getting the locals to do the final work.

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JohnnyRanger January 6, 2013 at 10:42 am

Just that all we did there was make room for a more poisonous snake…the devil you know, and all that…

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SJE January 6, 2013 at 1:43 pm

Agreed. My point is that Obama does not have a categorical aversion to cutting off snake heads.

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JohnnyRanger January 6, 2013 at 4:32 pm

Agreed.

Matt January 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

LOL when they are low hanging fruit like Bin Laden and Libya. His entire R2P premise has been shattered in Syria. Obama will do NOTHING in Syria. Count on it. Libya was a european assault/takeover on the oil infrastructure of Libya, nothing more. It was pushed on Obama by his militaristic female handlers Susan Rice and Valerie Jarrett not to mention Michelle… "Its Africa, Barak, we have to do something…" They didnt even realize they euros that they adore, idolize, and emulate were playing them in their own little "blood for oil" scheme.

NeoconBrony January 4, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Yes I do, if Assad uses chemical weapons in this war, Obama will sh!t fury all over him and he will drown in it.

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Matt January 7, 2013 at 11:12 am

Obama will do NOTHING.

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BlackOwl18E January 4, 2013 at 10:19 am

I don't want to get militarily involved in another Arab-Islamic spat in the Middle East. I would much rather sit back and let them settle it themselves. However, I think America will launch airstrikes or use special forces to intervene when/if Assad uses chemical weapons. It's just the way the American foreign policy mindset works sometimes. We feel the need to go in and fix it.

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galloglas January 4, 2013 at 12:42 pm

The hell with Syria, it ain't our floggin' problem and who cares how the Religion of Peace and the umah of perpetual offended, outrage kills each other.
It's their religion, their problem and none of our GD business.

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blight_ January 4, 2013 at 1:09 pm

Rebels need to persuade us that it's worth our risk to back their play. I don't see a Saratoga moment that promises that the rebels have what it takes to win yet.

That said, Assad is no friend of ours (but maybe the Russians?) but how is his replacement going to look any better?

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Kim January 4, 2013 at 1:25 pm

You seriously think the Syrian conflict is about religion?

(accidentally posted before below)

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SJE January 4, 2013 at 2:27 pm

Not strictly religion, but religion defines the different groups, and has been used to justify nastiness to the other. When the Sunnis were in charge, the Alawites were relegated to the bottom of the heap because they were infidels. considered worse than the Christians and Jews. Now that the Alawites are on top, they are supported by the other minorities who fear Sunni domination. With the increasing sectarian nature of the conflict, and the influx of radical Sunni Islamists, the Alawites have a real reason to fear. Lots of Syrians hate Assad, but fear the alternative.

The middle east needs a First Amendment.

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Anonymous January 4, 2013 at 1:18 pm

Soooo….which fine analysts came up with this report? Hopefully not the same one's that said Saddam had WMD.

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Andy January 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm

I have video of all of the Democrat National Leaders saying that Sadam had WMD. That includes Nancy and Harry. Boy did they change when the WMD were not found. Maybe we should have looked in Syria…

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crackedlenses January 4, 2013 at 11:58 pm

Saddam had it. He was smart enough to cart it all off to Syria and/or bury it. And guess who is about to use the said WMDs….

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James January 7, 2013 at 11:46 pm

Nah he didn't have them after 1991, thaty has been established as indisputable fact.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 8, 2013 at 1:58 am

"….thaty has been established as indisputable fact."

….in which case you must have all sorts of evidence you can link to, yes?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

Kim January 4, 2013 at 1:24 pm

You seriously think the Syrian conflict is about religion?

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SJE January 4, 2013 at 2:28 pm

It is now.

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david January 4, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Sounds exactly like the lies Powell told to the UN about the Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. Don't be fooled a 2nd time guys!

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Bev January 10, 2013 at 10:36 am

If you honestly think there WERE no WMPs at that time, you're much mistaken. They were simply hidden or moved underground or out of the area. You don't honestly think they would let our people or any team of "inspectors" see that they really had, do you. Surely you are not that gullable. Yes, the middle east countries, particularly those we consider the "bad guys" do have WMPs and aren't likely to be detered by the threat from BO to get involved. Those guys are in it to win it, and in it to death, regardless of how many innocents in their own countries are killed in the process. You speak as though we are dealing with people who have the same beliefs and morals as Americans, but we are not. We are dealing with fanatics of the most deadly kind…the ones who believe that they are right and that anyone who does not believe as they do should die.

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So? January 5, 2013 at 1:11 am

Such sensationalism. Chemical weapons are very ineffective. Given the choice between 500 kg of HE and 500 kg of mustard gas, choose the HE. Always.

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@RSPW_DEP January 5, 2013 at 2:48 am

Has anyone else noticed the people saying "WMD" this time around were the ones who spent the last eight or so years calling George W. Bush every name in the book for believing Saddam had them? Notice no one in the media or "antiwar movement" (Which only makes noise where and when the Democratic officials tell them to) is saying word one about that?

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Kim January 5, 2013 at 7:11 am

Actually they are, but I doubt you read about it, or hear it.

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crackedlenses January 5, 2013 at 5:12 pm

The same could be said about the Birther movement. Your point?

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James January 7, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Hey dumbass Saddam didn't have WMD's and Syria has made it public for decades that they have them. You can see the difference? Idiot.

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Dubz January 6, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I thought I saw the dumbest turds on the internet when I stumbled on the Klans page … but I stand corrected.

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James January 7, 2013 at 11:44 pm

AMEN

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Larry January 6, 2013 at 7:31 pm

Idiot people in the West want Assad gone. So what happens to all the innocent Syrian Christians when Assad is gone? Same thing that happened when America got rid of Saddam in Iraq and Mubarak in Egypt. The Muslims go crazy and start killing the Christians. Americans NEVER learn from the past.

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SJE January 6, 2013 at 10:57 pm

Actually, America does know, and its one reason it has not gotten involved in all the Arab Spring events as an active party, with the exception of Libya. Guess what: Libya has almost no religious minorities. Just cuz some people want to go invade etc does not mean "Americans never learn"

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Matt January 7, 2013 at 11:21 am

If I was president I would set up a no fly zone over the rebel areas and be parachuting in m60 tanks, 4 wheelers, javelins, Bell Helos, Explosives, Amphetamines, etc… the whole 9 yards. It would be like the cartoons with so much magical ordinance parachuting in from the sky. Then let the bodies hit the floor. Syria has massive amounts of American and coalition blood on its hands both directly and indirectly over the last 10 years as an Iranian stooge fighting a proxy war against the US and allies in Iraq. Let them kill themselves and give them a few cans of gasoline to speed up the process. I dont care who wins. Just make fun and fair. I'm an American and this is my point of view. I dont care if it hurts your feelings or makes us all look dumb and insensetive. I have more intellegince and knowledge in my sphincter than you do in your brain.

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Papi1960R January 7, 2013 at 2:13 pm

Very glad your not President.

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blight_ January 7, 2013 at 6:11 pm

I think Matt is simply extending karma to Assad for not keeping their side of things clean during OIF, and letting Al-Anbar turn into a remix of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Though if I understood things correctly, eventually the Syrians did clamp down, and combined with the Sunnis turning on AQ it led to game over.

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Matt January 8, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Oh Papi its already happening but not so dramatically.

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tiger January 7, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Matt, You seem to be hitting the Egg Nog too hard.

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james January 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Exactly why a complete moron would never have an office higher than head burger flipper in some isolated shithole.

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 9:40 pm

Now that I read it again, javelin missiles? Are you serious?!

I'm trying to imagine how pissed Israel would be with ATGMs floating around in Syria, and likely to go to Lebanon and Hezbollah.

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Matt January 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

All these weapons have not only a shelf life but a combat half life; once you drop them in, you forget about them. Trust me, they will use them. There are already ATGMs in Syria from other foreign state actors. Turkey is a weapons pipeline like nothing we have ever seen.

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blight_ January 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

All it takes is one resupply run from Iran to deliver whatever you give to the Syrian rebels back to the Homeland. They already have TOW and HAWK from the '80s, and they certainly don't need more help with new anti-tank gizmos.

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Matt January 9, 2013 at 5:51 pm

Like I said, they are already there, the advanced weapons. There is no secret technology anymore. Especially with states like RU and China mass producing and proliferating these techs globally. With Syria being a client state of said nations, they already have their hands on the most advanced AGTMs from the eastern bloc.

Papi1960R January 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

Not an American problem. Syrians gassing Syrians? Sounds like a Syrian problem to me.
Obama would not give the order to take out a Assad. Before the uprising, Assad was pretty much a model of total control, and as such he was very much a role model for Obama.

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crackedlenses January 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm

I'd like to think that the American populace would put up a better fight than the Syrian rebels have, but I'd rather not find out.

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James January 7, 2013 at 11:43 pm

Simple facts are that Assad stated he would not use WMD's against his own people. All these falsified reports are jsut trying to set the stage for a hustified intervention. The morons like many posting here lap it up without a second though.
These same morons also seem to have no idea that the "resistance" has been committing atrocities let right and center and many are fundamentalists with ties to terrorist groups woth no love of the West. We're going to see so many terrorists coming out of Iraq,Afghanistan,Libya and Syria in the next decade, which will make what has happened so far small potatos.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 8, 2013 at 2:04 am

Be careful who you call a moron when you can't even get your spelling right ("hustified" intervention, indeed).

And of the "facts" are as "simple" as you claim, then a few links to these simple facts should serve to clarify the situation, yes?

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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blight_ January 9, 2013 at 9:21 am

We're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Re

"We're going to see so many terrorists coming out of Iraq,Afghanistan,Libya and Syria in the next decade" I agree. Post Afghanistan, tons of Arabs with ideology and some familiarity with weapons and access to Gulf petrodollars came out of the woodwork. Asides from Hezbollah in Lebanon and Palestine, the conflict in Afghanistan is the third font of what might be considered terrorism today. Hezbollah and Palestine have since focused their ambitions on the Middle East itself, and play less a part outside of the ME than they did in the '80s.

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assbestos January 8, 2013 at 8:45 am

Anybody else notice that this image is cobbled together? Is someone trying to imply the rebels are operating tanks?

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 9:23 am

Depends. If the Syrians use a conscription system to keep an artificially bloated military, chances are there must be someone in the rebels with training to perhaps drive an armored vehicle.

Unless Assad is smart and stacked the deck in armor and air forces with Alawites and Christians and kept the Sunnis in light infantry positions?

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SJE January 8, 2013 at 10:54 am

Which is what he does. AF, elite forces etc are predominantly Alawite and other minorities.

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crackedlenses January 8, 2013 at 1:47 pm

They are probably operating whatever they can capture at this point.

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crackedlenses January 8, 2013 at 1:46 pm

I'm not saying they have not. As a matter of fact, I've been impressed with their innovation and resilience in the face of Assad's superior firepower. I'm simply hoping that the American people would be able to overthrow a tyrannical government more quickly and cleanly than the Syrians have been forced to do.

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 3:32 pm

The Confederacy took four years to *try* against the Union, and they had considerable resources and material advantage to do so.

Though if you meant in terms of a popular insurrection against the federal government…

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crackedlenses January 8, 2013 at 7:13 pm

I'm betting the Americans would have most of their military on their side, but that's only in a clear-cut scenario. Things would probably be more confusing and divided if civil war broke out again.

That said, I know there are those who have preparing for a second run-in with the feds ever since their ancestors fired on Sumter. If our experience in the Middle East is any indication, they might do better….

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 8:59 pm

One could look at the demographic of the military. Most are white, Christian and conservative. I doubt they will go after people who look like them. A military rarely does and any forced to do so tends to break into splinters (eg, RVN Buddhist soldiers taking orders from Catholics to back a dictator's play)

If you belong on the opposite side of that digicam line (aka, the non-gun toting side) then it gets a little easier.

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markjean59 January 9, 2013 at 3:39 pm

just patrol the borders and ONLY let humanitarian aid in and let em kill each other off, problem solved!

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Real World January 9, 2013 at 4:47 pm

Who cares? The more dead Middle East fools the better- these folks have been killing each other for a thousand years, don't care about human rights, hate Christians, etc. Worry about things that are important in the US like the School High Drop out rate in schools, no jobs, crime, health care…

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hoggy January 9, 2013 at 8:42 pm

So just where do you think Iraq's WMD's went? They were moved to Syria while all the warnings (which lasted quite awhile before the attack) from the go old USA were given to Sadam H.

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Andy Indelicato January 9, 2013 at 8:56 pm

THER IS NO REASON THAT THE U.S. SHOULD GET INVOLVED IN ANY OF THE CRAP THAT GOES ON OVER THERE ANYMORE, ITS NOT OUR FIGHT…

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RAMON January 10, 2013 at 3:24 am

PLEASE PEOPLE! STOP TALKING ABOUT AMERICA AS IF IT WERE STILL A TRUE NATION. AMERICA IS GONE, IT WAS FORECLOSED BY THE FEDERAL RESERVE BACK IN THE 1930's, "ITS CALLED THE NEW DEAL." AMERICA IS A SUBSIDIARY COMMERCIAL CORPORATION OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE, ALONG WITH THE NON EXISTING STATES THAT COMMITTED POLITICAL SUICIDE DURING THE DEPRESSION IN ORDER TO SURVIVE, NOT AS STATES BUT AS SUBSIDIARY COMMERCIAL SLAVES TERRITORIES OF THE FEDERAL RESERVE OWNED SUBSIDIARY CORPORATION AKA THE UNITED STATES. I KNOW YOU WILL BLOCK THIS COMMENT, BECAUSE YOU ARE AFRAID OF THE TRUTH, THERE IS NO KNOWN DEFENSE FOR THE TRUTH, NOT EVEN WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION CAN KILL IT, YOU MAY KILL THE MESSENGER, BUT YOU CAN'T KILL THE MESSAGE. BY BLOCKING THE MESSAGE YOU ARE ACTING LIKE A FRIGHTENED SELF PROTECTING SLAVE.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 10, 2013 at 4:57 am

….and typing in all caps does not enhance your argument (and I use that term loosely) or, for that matter, people's view of your intelligence.

You speak a lot about "THE TRUTH". Well, if you backed that "TRUTH" up with some "arguments" or "facts" (check a dictionary if the terms are unfamiliar) you might (might!) end up looking a bit smarter.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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Alex January 10, 2013 at 5:39 pm

This article needs some basic editing. At its current level of grammar and flawed facts, it would be unacceptable for a high school newspaper.

What is the connection to the tank?

"That is a not a simply feat for an air force like Syria’s." What is a "simply feat"?

When did chemical weapon deployment FROM Israel come into the picture? Are we concerned with Syrian chemical weapons, but fine and dandy with Israel fielding the same?

C'mon, DT. You can do better than this.

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Hagan January 10, 2013 at 6:06 pm

I feel more comfortable in Assad running Syria than Al Queda

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Matt January 10, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Did yall hear outgoing SecDef Panetta today: "I can say one thing and that is that I guarantee that there will be zero American combat troops committed to Syria." — thats a great message to send. From the highest authority in the US govt. Out of nowhere, just on his own volition I guess. "We will not commit to war even after our red line has been crossed" "We will be humiliated" This administration is only words except for the low hanging fruit. In fact regarding nations such as Iran which have treated us with hostility we are generous and accepting but with allies such as Egypt "Mubarak must go" just pure stupidity… The threat of the US military or another nation crossing a red line means literally nothing. The US will not act. This is a troubling statement for the sec def to make in public.

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MintFrog January 3, 2013 at 4:35 pm

Real pilots might hesitate to follow orders to gas a village full of people.

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Hammer6 January 4, 2013 at 10:33 pm

Attack Israel?

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Menzie January 6, 2013 at 12:57 am

Well if thery were unable to develop home grown method of bomb delivery without destroying the sarin, then why not rig sprayers? Of course with a spray rig you have to worry about the pilots wealfare too hence a possibel motivation for remote operations? Dunno 4 sure.

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blight_ January 4, 2013 at 10:31 am

Clearly they need to train more loyalists how to fly. Straight line, drop a bomb, fly away.

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SJE January 4, 2013 at 1:26 pm

True. Whats your point?

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Thunder350 January 4, 2013 at 6:24 pm

After the crusades… you can't do selective history.

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crackedlenses January 5, 2013 at 5:08 pm

They were already there.

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crackedlenses January 5, 2013 at 5:10 pm

Actually, before as well. Evangelistic efforts during and after the Crusades were not noticeably successful. Besides, the Crusaders had a bad habit of killing people instead of trying to convert them.

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Nenad January 6, 2013 at 6:53 am

Actually first Christians in the Middle East were there long before crusades, and long before Arab/Muslim invasion. Those lands(Syria, Israel/Palestine, Egypt etc) were part of Byzantine empire(Eastern Roman empire) which was Christian. Christians from the Middle East are mostly Orthodox Christians while Crusaders were Catholics. I highly admire them, Christians in such states are mostly second class citizen(Syria among few exceptions), there's a long history of persecution, yet despite all they kept their religious identity.

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SJE January 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Yes, even if they were the same religion. Richard the Lionheart was kidnapped on his way back home through Europe and held to ransom by other Christian rulers.

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Thunder350 January 6, 2013 at 12:28 am

There wasn't really that many Christians that "lived" in the region. Before the crusades the Jews and Muslims generally lived together in most areas including Jerusalem, and even fought side by side (what a difference it is today!) to defend the city against the invading Crusaders (aka The Franks). The 1st Crusade all started when the Christians were barred from visiting holy sites in the region by the Muslim rulers. Once the Crusaders defeated the Jews and Muslims the non Christians were massacred, those involved in the crusades generally stayed and lived there until they themselves were eventually massacred later on in history.

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SJE January 5, 2013 at 10:19 pm

Chemical warfare was used by Saddam against the Iranians and Kurds. There are suspicions of it being used in SE Asia.

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JohnnyRanger January 6, 2013 at 11:00 am

I agree. Less effective against dispersed, protected military oppenents, but against defenseless civilians in a concentrated urban setting? Scary.

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SJE January 6, 2013 at 1:38 pm

Jerusalem yes, "the region" no. At the time of the first crusade, Turkey was entirely Christian ruled by the Byzantines. The Caliphs had recently extended control over areas that remained largely Christian, and include large Christian populations even today: Syria, Armenia, Iraq.

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History guy January 14, 2013 at 11:34 am

SJE is correct. The mid-East was largely Christian before the Crusades and only gradually became Muslim over a period of many centuries, as the Christians emigrated, were killed or decided to stop living as 2nd class citizens and became Muslims.

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Papi1960R January 7, 2013 at 2:04 pm

Actually Israel opened a exhibit of hebrew scrolls from central Iran this week. They reference thriving Jewish communities in Persia over 600 years before Islam. These scrolls also cite the spread of Christianity into Persia 300 years before Islam's birth. Somehow many critics of Christians and Jews seem to try to make Islamic violence more acceptable(even noble )compared to the conquests of Hebrews and Crusaders. I still remember 9 Cairo University researchers/professors being kidnapped and murdered for publishing a paper that the Hebrew temple was on Temple Mount before Islam.

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tiger January 7, 2013 at 7:00 pm

My point exactly. We draw lines in the sand. they cross them. We draw more lines And make speeches…… The only bright spot? Our POW/MIA teams have access & are still recovering our dead. http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/accounted_for/

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Phono January 8, 2013 at 5:50 am

You simply do have the need to care about, if you want or not.
the truth is, if you're not involved you don't know the outcome, which carries the danger of being surprised, remember new york.
And like in this hole discussion were often said, arming them and let them kill each other has led to WW1 and all its consequences. remember the Lusitania.
Your Standpoint is no basis for foreign politics. Isolationism typically ends with a call to arms.

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 9:26 am

The UN had possession of Iraq for the short period just after GW1, when his armies were in ruins and the spectre of the United States going in to play smackdown was in the air. They destroyed Project Babylon and presumably stocks of his known chemical weapons from Iraq-Iran war. He was allowed to keep helicopters and his RG to suppress the Shia rebels. When the troops pulled out, he played cat and mouse with UN inspectors.

What people don't remember is that years before, the UN arms controllers had played this game with the Soviets-who had run a massive biological and chemical weapons program for decades, and similarly attempted to obfuscate and deny everything.

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SJE January 8, 2013 at 10:50 am

Bin Laden was "low hanging fruit"?

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crackedlenses January 8, 2013 at 1:42 pm

Bin Laden was (or should have been) a personal vendetta for us; he was handed to us on a silver platter and we refused to take him. Learned our mistake on 9/11…..

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 3:39 pm

Fun tidbits from Wikipedia:

"CIA paramilitary officer Billy Waugh tracked down Bin Ladin in the Sudan and prepared an operation to apprehend him, but was denied authorization"

"In December 1998, the Director of Central Intelligence Counterterrorist Center reported to President Bill Clinton that al-Qaeda was preparing for attacks in the United States of America, including the training of personnel to hijack aircraft."

"They did however offer to try him before an Islamic court if evidence of Osama bin Laden's involvement in the September 11 attacks was provided. It was not until eight days after the bombing of Afghanistan began in October 2001 that the Taliban finally did offer to turn over Osama bin Laden to a third-party country for trial in return for the United States ending the bombing. This offer was rejected by President Bush stating that this was no longer negotiable, with Bush responding "there's no need to discuss innocence or guilt. We know he's guilty.""

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Ozgunner January 8, 2013 at 4:29 pm

"Presumably." Yup, that's solid evidence. (/sarcasm)
Plausible, but still conjecture.

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Ozgunner January 8, 2013 at 4:30 pm

Isolationism typically ends with a call to arms."
Well said.

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galloglas January 9, 2013 at 5:04 pm

New York is way up north of me and I personally don't care any more about NYC than I do syrians.

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blight_ January 8, 2013 at 4:56 pm

"Cat and mouse" was apparently an understatement on my part.
http://www.armscontrol.org/act/2002_10/iraqspecia

That said

Iraqi Claims

Following the Persian Gulf War, Baghdad initially declared it had 11,131 chemical weapons and warheads and 1,005 tonnes of stockpiled sarin, tabun, and mustard agents.
Iraq initially reported that there were 553 pieces of chemical weapons production equipment located at its 15 chemical weapons facilities.
Iraq claimed it had never successfully produced or weaponized the nerve agent VX.

UNSCOM Accomplishments
UNSCOM destroyed more than 38,000 filled and unfilled chemical munitions.
UNSCOM also oversaw the destruction of 690 tonnes of chemical warfare agents, more than 3,000 tonnes of precursor chemicals, and roughly 600 pieces of production equipment.
With varying degrees of confidence, UNSCOM further certified that another 34,000 special munitions and 823 tonnes of key precursors had been destroyed during the Gulf War and that Iraq had unilaterally destroyed another 13,660 special munitions and about 200 additional tonnes of key precursors after the war. UNSCOM also verified that more than 600 additional pieces of production and analytical instruments were no longer operational.
Inspectors also succeeded in uncovering Iraq’s VX program, which Baghdad had tried to conceal, as well as additional chemical weapons research and development projects on which Iraq had not volunteered information.
UNSCOM supervised the dismantlement of Iraq’s top chemical weapons complex, the al-Muthanna State Establishment, and put other sites under monitoring.
UNSCOM Findings and Assessments
UNSCOM admitted it could not verify that Iraq’s declarations about its total past procurement and production of chemical precursors and agents were true because of a lack of documentation and information on these activities from both Iraq and its foreign suppliers.
UNSCOM could not verify Iraq’s claim that it had unilaterally destroyed some 16,000 unfilled munitions.
Through its inspections process, UNSCOM believed it had developed a “good understanding of the extent” of Iraq’s chemical weapons projects that moved beyond the research and development stage and into production, but it admitted it did not have as clear of a picture on other, less advanced research and development programs.
UNSCOM also noted it had little information on actual Iraqi military plans, deployment, and use of its chemical weapons, making it difficult to say with certainty what types of and how many chemical weapons Iraq still had.
Inspectors also had little success in obtaining production manuals for precursors and weapons.
UNSCOM cautioned that the material balances it had developed with regard to Iraq’s chemical weapons program were based on Iraqi declarations, which could not be fully verified.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 9, 2013 at 2:15 am

"As for facts, you could punch in a few words into Google can't you……oh wait you wish to remain ignorant."

So you don't actually have any facts, then? Oh, and Google =/= Facts

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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blight_ January 9, 2013 at 2:26 pm

You make it sound like that the war in Iraq was essentially setting up a firebase in I Corps and zapping the VC as they hit it.

I suppose that's one tangible deliverable, and it definitely culls all the stupid who believe in jihadi business and those who are "honor bound" to avenge their jihadi family members. Ideally, all the sane people who didn't go will inherit the Middle East. It might also cull much of the unemployable human capital as well.

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Matt January 9, 2013 at 6:19 pm

The actual attrition rates are astonishing. Some estimates are 350,000+ able bodied fighting aged jihadis, actively engaged in "war" against Americans, were killed while we lost around 8,000 in both theatres combined.

As much as the premise of Iraq was about WMDs and the leftists still cling to Bush Lied Ppl Died nonsense, it was really about identifying that we had an ME bubbling over with bored young men willing to die for allah and who had already declared war against the US a long time ago. Bush corerctly recognized that it was no longer an anomaly when they are in sleeper cells in the US for 10 years and then killing thousands of Americans in attacks, and this is during a time of relative peace and no foreign occupations.

You either say "Ok, we accept these random, terrifying, deadly attacks as part of our daily life in America" or you say "We are going to turn country X near where these people are originating into our battlefield of choice, and while we're at it, turn a dictatorship into a relative democracy/ally"

Afghanistan couldnt have met these goals because as we can clearly see now, there is nothing to "win" in Afg. My point is that the planners knew this from the start. Not only that but the terrain and geographical location takes it away from the traditional mideast hotbeds of extremism near Israel and thus the journey for Hadji to wage jihad again becomes long and arduous across Persian (assholes) territory and closer to India (assholes). Pakistan's particular brand of jihad only appeals to Pakis as India is the central boogeyman. So of course Iraq was the ideal place for meeting this force of men head on. They could travel there easily from their home country across friendly terrain and meet up with like minded fighters in Iraq to do their thang.

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Thomas L. Nielsen January 10, 2013 at 4:49 am

"I wouldn't fight with Obama against any enemy".

I'm sure Mr. Obama appreciates that.

Regards & all,

Thomas L. Nielsen
Luxembourg

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orly? January 10, 2013 at 11:53 am

I'm sure you were having a merry old time when 9/11 happened. Hell, I'm sure you didn't bat an eye.

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