The Dangers of Syria's Bio-Warfare Complex Should Assad Fall: An Interview with Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst
The control of Syria’s unconventional chemical and biological destruction are of vital concern in a troubled Middle East should the Assad regime fall to Sunni supremacist opposition forces. An Algemeiner article on this threat had a comment by Israeli Mossad director, Danny Yatom:
The conventional wisdom should be that we cannot exclude an un-conventional attack on Israel. We would have to pre-empt in order to prevent it. We need to be prepared to launch even military … and military attacks mean maybe a deterioration to war.
What should we make of these reports? First, the Syrian chemical- capability may be even more dangerous than people had thought, because the weapons can be moved to other locations and mixed . And, second, there’s a significant risk of proliferation to other groups, such as Hezbollah, which could pose a global terrorist threat.
Dr. [Bellamy Van-Aalst]’s answers give a foreboding picture of how large and refined the Syrian bio-warfare programs are and how little Western Intelligence knows about how the programs were developed. The potential exists for a significant WMD threat in the and the West, especially, against America. Syria is a proxy ally of Iran, North Korea (DPRK) and terror groups such as Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and Hamas. Thus, the supply of bio-weapons and delivery platforms could result in mass casualties making it a real and present danger.
Lopez . . . said that, “From research published by Dr. Jill Bellamy van Aalst, the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Dr. Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and others, we know that Iran, although a signatory to the Biological Weapons Convention, is reported to have weaponized anthrax, mycotoxins and smallpox. Iran possesses a sophisticated technological infrastructure, including university laboratories, within which it conceals its (biological weapons) program.
“The use or even threat of use of biological weapons by Iran – whether a bacterium like anthrax, a virus like Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis or a mycotoxin like yellow rain – would cross a red line, certainly for Israel and for the international community as well,” Lopez said. “Iran must know that even the threatened deployment of such biological weapons would invite an overwhelming military response that could devastate the country.”
The major change was the admission by Jihad Makdissi, the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs (MFA) confirming that Syria possesses biological weapons and by default a biological weapon (BW) Complex. Prior to this admission, the Syrian BW programs, although speculated in the public domain for years, had never been confirmed. In one sense we can breathe a sigh of relief that this is now established and acknowledged publicly by the Syrian MFA, however, we must now carefully address issues related to this announcement..
Jerry Gordon: Dr. Bellamy-Van Aalst thank you for consenting to this interview.
...NATO will work actively to prevent the proliferation of WMD by State and non-State actors through an active agenda of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation as well as by developing and harmonizing defense capabilities and, when necessary, by employing these capabilities consistent with political decisions in support of non-proliferation objectives. Both political and defense elements are essential to a secure NATO.The Alliance will be prepared for recovery efforts should the Alliance suffer a WMD attack or CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear – term for agents which can cause hazards to populations, territory and forces) event, within its competencies and whenever it can bring added value, through a comprehensive political, military and civilian approach.But despite significant progress, however, major challenges remain.