September 14, 2004

Die Welt: Syria Used Chemical Weapons In Darfur

Channel News Asia reports that tomorrow's edition of the German paper Die Welt will publish allegations that Syria used chemical weapons in Darfur:

Syria tested chemical weapons on civilians in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region in June and killed dozens of people.

The German daily Die Welt newspaper, in an advance release of its Wednesday edition, citing unnamed western security sources, said that injuries apparently caused by chemical arms were found on the bodies of the victims. ...

Die Welt said the sources had indicated that the weapons tests were undertaken following a military exercise between Syria and Sudan. Syrian officers were reported to have met in May with Sudanese military leaders in a Khartoum suburb to discuss the possibility of improving cooperation between their armies.

According to Die Welt, the Syrians had suggested close cooperation on developing chemical weapons, and it was proposed that the arms be tested on the rebel SPLA, the Sudan People's Liberation Army, in the south.

So we have another Ba'athist regime using chemical weapons to put down a civil war. Anyone want to guess where they got the weapons? Because this happened in May, several months after Saddam Hussein was captured, it doesn't take much imagination to picture Bashir Assad's calculations. With Saddam and his regime gone, those Iraqi weapons came in awfully handy. It makes that al-Qaeda attempt at using a chemical-weapons bomb in Jordan look less like a fluke, doesn't it?

But no one in that area has WMD capability ... Bush lied, after all. Just ask the people of Darfur. (via The Corner)

UPDATE: Here is a translation of the Die Welt article by CQ reader Chuck Bearden:

Syria tests chemical weapons on Sudanese
Intelligence services: dozens of victims

by Jacques Schuster
[translated by Chuck Bearden]

Berlin - Syrian units employed chemical weapons against the black
African population of Darfur in June of this year. The action, in
which dozens of people were killed, was carried out with the
agreement of the Sudanese government. Western intelligence services
have reached this conclusion. They are supported by eyewitness
reports that have been published in various Arab media outlets.

According to the documents of western intelligence agencies in
possession of die Welt, Syrian officers met in May of this year with
representatives of the Sudanese army in a suburb of Khartoum. Their
conversations dealt with how to expand military cooperation.
According to intelligence information, the Syrian delegation offered
Sudan closer cooperation with respect to chemical warfare. According
to the sources, it was suggested that the effects of chemical weapons
be investigated on rebels of the Sudan People's Libaration Army (SPLA).

Because Khartoum was engaged in peace negotiations with the rebels in
May, the Sudanese delegation apparently recommended testing the
weapons on the black African population. To that end, at least five
airplanes of the Syrian civilian airline Syrian Arab Airlines flew
from Damascus to Khartoum, carrying specialists from the Syrian
academy for chemical warfare with technical equipment on board.

It cannot be precisely determined when the use [of the chemical
weapons] in Darfur began. However, in an article on the Arabic
website "Ilaf" from August 2, Sudanese eyewitnesses tell of strange
goings-on in Khartoum's Al-Fashr Hospital. In June, dozens of frozen
corpses were quite suddenly brought to the hospital. They displayed
mysterious injuries over their whole bodies. After a short time,
Sudanese soldiers blocked off a wing of the hospital. If one is to
believe the witnesses, access was thereafter permitted only to an
unknown team of Syrian doctors. After [some] days, Sudanese forces
removed the bodies.

Military experts have for some time possessed information about
Sudanese-Syrian cooperation in the area of chemical weapons research.
Reports continue to surface from Syrian opposition figures of
chemical weapons tests on prisoners.


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» Chemical weapons in Sudan? from "Syria tested chemical weapons on civilians in Sudan's troubled western Darfur region in June and killed dozens of people." Has anyone heard anything else about this that can confirm this story? Update: More on it at Captain's Quar... [Read More]

» Die Welt: Syria tests chemical weapons on Sudanese from ChuckB's LISNews Journal
Translation of the Die Welt article. [Read More]

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» Syria used Chemical Weapons in Darfur from
Captain Quarters blog posts the story below about WMDs being used on the Sudanese people in Darfur. The story accuses Syria of using chemical weapons against the citizenry with the knowledge and authority of the Government of Sudan. Captain Ed of Ca... [Read More]

Steve, at VodkaPundit posts that Syrian special forces have used chemical weapons against the Black-African population of Darfur. Captain Ed, at Captain's Quarters is also on this story posting that today's edition of the German paper Die Welt will pub... [Read More]

» Next stop Damascus? from In Bill's World
From a German-language newspaper, via Captain's Quarters: ... As Captain Ed comments: ... Go read it all. [Read More]

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