Our contributor Olivier Guitta has a fascinating article in The Examiner newspapers today concerning Syria's possible role as an alternative nuclear site for Iran.
while world attention is rightly focused on the nuclear capabilities of Iran and North Korea, Syria has been quietly - but quickly - advancing its own secret nuclear program.
The first signs appeared in 2003 when the Russian Foreign Ministry inadvertently revealed that a Russian-Syrian agreement for the delivery of a nuclear power plant in an undisclosed Syrian location had been signed. [snip]
German magazine Der Spiegel revealed in March 2004 that Swedish authorities and the CIA were investigating a very likely Syrian nuclear program secretly developed in Homs in the northern part of the country. That July, investigators looking into the Pakistani nuclear network of A.Q. Khan pointed out that Syria may have procured centrifuges capable of enriching uranium to produce a bomb.
He then alludes to a report that ties together a number of threads:
...[a]recent report from the well-informed Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al Seyassah. It quoted European intelligence sources as saying that "Syria has an advanced nuclear program" in a secret site located in the province of Al Hassaka, close to the Turkish and Iraqi borders. British sources quoted by the paper believe that "it is President Assad's brother, Colonel Maher Assad and his cousin Rami Makhlouf, who supervise the program."
This nuclear weapons program is based on material that Saddam Hussein's two sons shipped to Syria before - and during - the U.S. war against Iraq. According to the Kuwaiti newspaper, this explains why international investigative teams found no proof of Hussein's nuclear program.
All of this shows not just the difficulty of ending the mullahs' nuclear program, but also the need to see the threat we face as an integrated phenomenon encompassing a true axis of evil. Our presence in Iraq is about far more than Iraq.