This is an ominous situation which is brought to light in this article:
Al Qaeda-aligned militants operating in Syria could already have access to “biological pathogens or weaponized agents,” according to terrorism and biological warfare experts studying the region.
The possible acquisition by al Qaeda of these highly dangerous toxins has prompted bio-warfare experts to label the threat a “clear and present danger.”
Lawlessness has taken hold in many areas that are home to Syria’s biological weapons research hubs and mounting evidence indicates that al Qaeda fighters have capitalized on this security gap by looting the facilities.
“The Syrian civil war has left sections of the bio-pharmaceutical infrastructure destroyed and looting of labs has been observed, which could indicate that Assad is losing command and control over one of the most dangerous classes of weapons remaining in his weapons of mass destruction (WMD) arsenal,” bio warfare and terrorism experts Jill Bellamy van Aalst and Olivier Guitta conclude in a new report.
“A very credible source has confirmed he saw, near Aleppo, a looted pharmaceutical laboratory, which was probably a cover for a biological weapons production site,” Guitta and van Aalst revealed in a research brief published by the Henry Jackson Society.
The most recent looting took place in the embattled city of Aleppo, where the al Qaeda-backed group Al Nusrah is known to operate, according to the report.
“Syria’s biological warfare programs are latent, highly compartmentalized, and dual use, run under both legitimate and clandestine programs, laboratories, institutes, and facilities,” the report states. “The fact that this looting took place in the Aleppo area where the rebellion—and in particular Al Nusrah—is very strong tends to confi
rm that AQ may potentially be in possession of biological agents.”
“The problem with bio-weapons, unlike chemical or nuclear, is the quality and weaponization for dispersal that counts, not the quantity, Guitta and van Aarst wrote. “You do not need a stockpile and you do not need sophisticated delivery methods, in fact, that is no longer optimal. Bio-weapons are silent, and determining that an attack has occurred can be challenging.”
[Like So many other signs - right on schedule]
In his four-day trip to Tehran, Russian Air Force Chief Gen. Viktor Bondarev and his hosts, Brig. Gen. Hassan Shasafi and other senior Iranian military chiefs, laid the groundwork for a series of agreements to upgrade their military ties to a level unprecedented in their past relations.
Iran is deliberately accentuating those ties as a message to the Western powers that if they give the Islamic Republic a hard time over its nuclear program, it will go all the way to a full-dress defense pact with Russia.
Moscow has its own reasons for being keen to expand its military ties with Tehran:
1. Signing defense accords and arms transactions with Iran will give Russia its first serious military foothold in the Persian Gulf;
2. Moscow is not only seeking to compete with the US military presence in the Gulf but also displace America and China in the weapons markets of the Middle East.
3. Major Russian-Iranian arms deals will be a precedent for important weapons transactions brokered by Saudi Arabia with Egypt. Moscow sees the shape of a weapons-trading triangle that could be exploited in the future for Russia to serve in the role of mediator between Riyadh and Tehran.
Iran additionally keeps at the front of its mind the potential for an Israeli or American military strike on its nuclear program if the diplomatic track runs into the sand – especially since the Islamic regime has no intention of giving up what it considers its right to develop nuclear power and enrich uranium.
Tehran has put in special requests for massive Russian technological assistance for upgrading its missile industry by extending the range of their ballistic missiles and improving their precision. The Iranians also see a chance to renovate their aging air force and have applied for Russian fighters, interceptors, transports and refueling planes as well as training facilities for air force flight crews.
After Moscow refused to deliver them advanced S-300 anti-air missile systems, the Iranians set up programs for developing home-made products. They claim to have built their own S-200 interceptor missiles and are offering to shell out hefty sums for the purchase of new Russian technology to improve them.
The visiting Russian air force chief therefore had plenty to discuss with his Iranian hosts. Especially significant was his visit Monday, Oct. 21 to the Iranian anti-air command at Khatam Al-Anbiya and his conversation with its head, Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili.
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