Israeli spies tracking Syria's chemical weapon stocks
The Israeli spies are operating as spotters in Syria to track the location of Bashar al-Assad's stocks of chemical and biological weapons, the Australian reports.
"For years we've known the exact location of Syria's chemical and biological munitions," an Israeli source said, according to the Australian. "But in the past week we've got signs that munitions have been moved to new locations."
Western intelligence agencies started monitoring Syria's weapons program in the late 1980s after receiving reports of biological and chemical weapons. Biological weapons may be a part of Syria's conventional arsenal, which could make the country more likely to use the deadly arsenal.
"It's just another type of weapon for the regime and they may not make the moral distinctions we do," Jill Bellamy-van Aalst, a former bio-defense consultant to NATO, said, according to the Australian.
Israel may have been responsible for a July 2007 explosion at a weapons depot in al-Safir. The explosion occurred just as Syrian and Iranian engineers fitted a nerve gas warhead to a Scud missile. Fifteen Syrians and 10 Iranian engineers died after gas escaped.
While Israel never admitted responsibility, an Israeli minister referred to the explosion as a wonderful accident, the Australian reports.