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February 1, 2013 11:53 am

Report: Defected Syrian Official Says Syrian ‘Research Facility’ Was Used to Manufacture Chemical Weapons

avatar by Zach Pontz

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An IAF jet.

An IAF jet.

A senior Syrian officer who was involved with chemical weapons operations in the country, but has since defected, said that one of the sites reportedly hit by Israel in a strike Wednesday was a chemical weapons manufacturing facility.

“The place was a transit point for weapons from Syria to southern Lebanon,” the officer said, according to Israel’s Channel 10, adding that there were Russian and Iranian representatives who worked onsite.

Wednesday, reports that Israel struck a target along the Syria-Lebanon border surfaced. Western sources said that the target was a convoy carrying sophisticated antiaircraft weaponry intended for the Hezbollah Shiite terror militia in Lebanon. Syria also confirmed the report, but said that the target was a scientific research facility. One Western official, however, said that the two reports were not mutually exclusive and could have possibly both taken place.

Both Syria and Iran have threatened retaliation for the strike, which Israel has remained mum about. The Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, said  Damascus “has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation.”

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