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Jewish World Review
Feb. 1, 2006
/ 3 Shevat, 5766
About those missing WMDs ...
Last week a man who had been deputy chief of Saddam Hussein's air force claimed Iraq moved
weapons of mass destruction into Syria before the war began.
Special Republican Guard brigades loaded yellow barrels with the skull and crossbones sign on
each barrel onto two airliners from which the seats had been removed, Georges Sada said. There
were 56 flights in all.
"Saddam realized this time the Americans are coming," Gen. Sada told the New York Sun, one of a
handful of news organizations which took note of what he had to say.
There are grounds for skepticism. Mr. Sada was deputy chief of the Iraqi air force during the
first Gulf War, not the more recent one, and his account of the movement of WMD to Syria is
Mr. Sada said he was told of the WMD transfer by the pilots of the two airliners, who
approached him after Saddam was captured.
But Mr. Sada's is only the most recent of a series of accounts by people in a position to speak
with authority who say (some of) Saddam's chemical and biological weapons wound up in Syria.
- Last month Moshe Yaalon, who was Israel's top general at the time, said Iraq transported WMD
to Syria six weeks before Operation Iraqi Freedom began.
- Last March, John Shaw, a former deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology
security, said Russian SpetsNaz units moved WMD to Syria and Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
"While in Iraq I received information from several sources naming the exact Russian units, what
they took and where they took both WMD materials and conventional explosives," Mr. Shaw told
NewsMax reporter Charles Smith.
- Retired Marine LtGen. Michael DeLong was deputy commander of CENTCOM during Operation Iraqi
Freedom. In September of 2004, he told WABC radio that "I do know for a fact that some of
those weapons went into Syria, Lebanon and Iran."
- In January of 2004, Dr. David Kay, the first head of the Iraq Survey Group which conducted
the search for Saddam's WMD, told a British newspaper there was evidence unspecified materials
had been moved to Syria from Iraq shortly before the war.
"We know from some of the interrogations of former Iraqi officials that a lot of material went
to Syria before the war, including some components of Saddam's WMD program," Dr. Kay told the
- Also that month, Nizar Nayuf, a Syrian journalist who defected to an undisclosed European
country, told a Dutch newspaper he knew of three sites where Iraq's WMD was being kept. They
were the town of al Baida near the city of Hama in northern Syria; the Syrian air force base
near the village of Tal Snan, and the city of Sjinsar on the border with Lebanon.
- In an addendum to his final report last April, Charles Duelfer, who succeeded Dr. Kay as head
of the Iraq Survey Group, said he couldn't rule out a transfer of WMD from Iraq to Syria.
"There was evidence of a discussion of possible WMD collaboration initiated by a Syrian
security officer, and ISG received information about movement of material out of Iraq,
including the possibility that WMD was involved. In the judgment of the working group, these
reports were sufficiently credible to merit further investigation," Dr. Duelfer said.
- In a briefing for reporters in October, 2003, retired Air Force LtGen. James Clapper Jr., who
was head of the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency when the Iraq war began, said satellite
imagery showed a heavy flow of traffic from Iraq into Syria just before the American invasion.
"I think the people below Saddam Hussein and his sons level saw what was coming and decided the
best thing to do was to destroy and disperse," LtGen. Clapper said.
You haven't heard much about these reports, because they contradict the meme that Saddam either
had no WMD, or destroyed it well before the Iraq war began.
The captured files of the Iraqi intelligence service, still mostly untranslated, could shed
light on what did happen to Saddam's WMD.
A former military intelligence analyst now working as a civilian contractor is among those who
have been examining the Mukhabarat files. He says he's found audiotapes of meetings in
Saddam's office where WMD was discussed.
The analyst plans to make them public at a conference Feb. 17th sponsored by the private group
Those who have bet their political futures that Saddam had no WMD may be starting to sweat.
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