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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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