Syria attempted to buy products for production of bioweapons, report says

A leaked cable released by Wikileaks showed that a December 2008 memo from the United States to India warned that Syria tried to buy products that could be used in the production of chemical and biological weapons from two Indian firms.

The products were to be bought from Goel Scientific Glass Works and Garg Scientific Glass Industries, located in Vadodara and Mumbai respectively, and consisted of glass-lined reactors, heat exchangers and pumps, the Hindustan Times reports.

“While they have legitimate commercial uses, glass or glass-lined chemical reactor vessels, heat exchangers and pumps can be used in the production of CW (chemical warfare) agents," the memo said, according to the Hindustan Times. “We are concerned that the equipment in question is intended for, or could be diverted to, Syria’s CW program."

The memo was sent to the Indian government by then U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. It requested that the sale to the Syrian Scientific Research Council be halted. The SSRC is believed to be a key entity behind the chemical and biological warfare program of Syria.

“We therefore request that the Indian government take all steps necessary to investigate this matter and prevent Syria from acquiring dual-use items," the memo said, according to the Hindustan Times. "Syria is an unreliable destination for dual-use exports, and Syrian end-user statements or other assurances are neither credible nor trustworthy.”