Pre-War Shipments from Iraq to Syria
Obama's designee for Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper, earlier intimated that he believed Saddam Hussein had shipped his weapons to Syria in advance of the invasion of Iraq. It was anticipated this would create problems for his confirmation.
Ha'aretz has revived the mystery surrounding the inability to find weapons of mass destruction stockpiles in Iraq, the most commonly cited justification for Operation Iraqi Freedom and one of the most embarrassing episodes for the United States. Satellite photos of a suspicious site in Syria are providing new support for the reporting of a Syrian journalist who briefly rocked the world with his reporting that Iraq's WMD had been sent to three sites in Syria just before the invasion commenced.The newspaper reveals that a 200 square-kilometer area in northwestern Syria has been photographed by satellites at the request of a Western intelligence agency at least 16 times, the most recent being taken in January. The site is near Masyaf, and it has at least five installations and hidden paths leading underneath the mountains. This supports the reporting of Nizar Nayouf, an award-winning Syrian journalist who said in 2004 that his sources confirmed that Saddam Hussein's WMDs were in Syria.One of the three specific sites he mentioned was an underground base underneath Al-Baida, which is one kilometer south of Masyaf. This is a perfect match. The suspicious features in the photos and the fact that a Western intelligence agency is so interested in the site support Nayouf's reporting, showing that his sources in Syria did indeed have access to specific information about secret activity that is likely WMD-related.