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Assad transferred chemical stockpiles to 105th Brigade a week before OPCW arrival: Document, Eye-witness

Top Secret | 2017-11-13 23:01:29
Assad transferred chemical stockpiles to 105th Brigade a week before OPCW arrival: Document, Eye-witness

(Zaman Al Wasl)-  Zaman al-Wasl obtained an official document condemning the Syrian regime by revealing regime manipulation of handing over its entire chemical weapons stockpile a few days before the arrival of UN experts to begin the chemical disarmament in implementation of a Russian-American deal between the parties through UN binding resolution number 2118.

The document contains small content, but a serious one. It is a book issued by the 1000 Institute in Jamraya (Damascus countryside), signed by its director, Dr. Mohammed Khaled Nasri, and addressed to the Director General of the Center for Scientific Studies and Research.


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The document comes in response to a previous book, in which the Director-General of the Center for Scientific Studies and Research ordered the designation of the head of the supervisory committee to transfer the stockpile of chemical materials deposited at the 1000 Institute to the warehouses of the 105th Brigade, the most famous and most important Republican Guard brigade, whose mission is to protect Bashar al-Assad and his palaces.

In his document, Nasri proposes to appoint engineer Lieutenant Colonel Ahmad Firas Ahmad who is security office director of the 1000 Institute as head of supervisory committee to transfer the chemical stock. Ahmad will choose the team to carry out the transport mission in the most suitable and confidential manner.

This is regarding the content of the very confidential document. Regarding the date of the document and the order date to appoint the committee to transfer the chemicals, it contains sufficient information to deepen the condemnation of the Bashar al-Assad regime of fraud and manipulation, and to ignore all the countries, organizations and personalities involved in the process of chemical elimination of the regime, first and foremost the Organization for the Prohibition of Weapons Chemical (OPCW).

The first date that draws attention to the document issued by the Director of the 1000 Institute is the date of the order to name the head of the supervisory committee on the transfer of the chemical stockpile. The date is 19 September 2013, a shocking paradox of the date on which the regime formally handed over a list of chemical production and storage sites to OPCW.

The date of the document itself is September 22, 2013. The date reveals that the regime was racing for time to move its chemical stockpiles from one place to another in a misleading move for all. Chemical dismantling experts had arrived in Damascus eight days after the date of the document to carry out the implementation of the transfer. 

Also, the date of the document came days before OPCW resolution concerning the chemical file of the regime. The OPCW resolution warns of concealment or transfer of regime chemical weapons and it was issued on September 27 2013, the same day Security Council issued resolution 2118 to destroy regime chemical stock. The Security Council resolution states clearly in one of its paragraph that, "no party in Syria should use, develop, produce, possess, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons." The resolution also warned of the violation of all or any of the provisions of the resolution - including "unauthorized transfers of chemical arms " considering it necessitates imposing measures under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations which authorizes use of military force.

-Stuffed along the chemical flasks-

The Nasri document which reveals the manipulation of the regime in the chemical file, is supported by an exclusive certificate given to Zaman al-Wasl by one of the persons involved in the transfer of the chemical stock from the 1000 Institute's warehouses to the 105th Brigade.

The source confirms in his testimony that the actual preparation of the chemical transfer operation began on September 24and that the operation lasted one week. Fifty members of the regime forces were chosen to carry out the mission based on their sectarian allegiance. The operation was under the supervision of Brigadier General Yusuf Ajeeb who is the security officer of Center for Scientific Studies and Research with the participation of Lt. Col. Firas Ahmad, the security officer of 1000 Institute, which was mentioned in the document.

The source explains how regime elements were assigned to 5 groups; 10 elements for each group. They were transferred from the area of Barza (north of Damascus) to the area of Jamraya. They started work the next night (25 September). They uploaded the chemical stock in flasks and placed them in 5 closed refrigerated trucks. As the trucks got full, they were moved towards the 105th Brigade to be unloaded there. And so work continued in stages until the completion of the transfer of the entire stock.

The source points out in his testimony that the transport elements were put along the chemical flasks inside the same refrigerator, and that the new storage space was underground tunnels inside the 105th Brigade.

According to the source, he is aware of the parallel operation of the transfer of another stockpile from the 2000 Institute in the Barzeh area to the 105th Brigade.

-House of Power-

The 1000 Institute is located in Jamraya behind Mount Qasioun Mountain northwest of Damascus. It is subordinate to 410 Branch 410, and was established in cooperation with the Soviets in the 1980s.

The 105th Brigade is the first "house of power and military influence" in Syria. A few of the names of its leaders are Basil al-Assad, Bashar al-Assad, Munaf Tlass, Talal Makhlouf- who is current leader of the Republican Guards in Syria).

The 105th Brigade and the 1000 Institute are approximately located in one area, only a few kilometers apart. Both are close to the People's Palace.

It seems that the choice of the 105th Brigade to hide the chemical stockpile was not pointless. The military site is similar in its immunity to Bashar's palaces. No international party can dare to request to visit the brigade as well as tour and search it. If such a request was made, it would have justified for the regime to thwart the whole chemical inspection, under the pretext of violation of sovereignty and exit from the framework of the chemical mission.

On the other hand, the evacuation of Jamraya from the chemical stockpile gave the regime a very large margin of maneuver, accompanied by listing of the center as one of the "chemical production and storage sites", which the regime handed over to OPCW. The regime knew it could not evade the inclusion of this site on the list since the site has been exposed to various international parties. The regime decided to approve inspection of the site in conjunction with his evacuation, to present himself as "honest" and "cooperative" in the mission, as if to tell the International Community: "I have allowed you to search my most important sites. Stop doubting me.”

It seems the regime have reaped the fruits of its maneuver quickly, as back then reflected by statement of OPCW senior official that indicates that there is "no reason to doubt the information provided by the Syrian authorities" in a hint to the chemical production and storage sites provided by the regime on September 19 2013, the same day that the regime decided to circumvent and transfer the chemical stock from Jamaraya to 105 Brigade.


Zaman al-Wasl exclusive document and testimony used for this report intersect remarkably with a testimony given by a senior leader of an Alawite republican guard in early 2015. He revealed secret places in which the regime hid part of its chemical stockpiles to avoid its destruction including 105 Brigade. The republican guard noted that the entry to chemical warehouses is limited to a small number of officials and senior officers, and it is likely that the warehouses of 105 Brigade is the largest store of chemical weapons in Syria.

Also, Zaman al-Wasl previous study confirmed that the regime concealed some of its chemical arsenal and did not deliver them, and that what was hidden and transported includes imported materials that are difficult for the regime to produce domestically. The regime obtained these materials after 2010 and they are manufactured or semi-manufactured materials with long-term storage capacity.

-Under consideration-

The Nasri document puts the International Community especially Russia and the United States (the godfathers of the chemical deal) in front of a long-standing reality that has been ignored. The document condemns Bashar al-Assad in the crime of manipulating and circumventing one of the most dangerous and complex issues in the Syrian file.

While the regime was making statements about its full readiness to cooperate in the destruction of all its chemical stockpiles, it gave instructions to its concerned agencies (intelligence, military, research) to practice the utmost deception and hide what they could from their chemical agents from destruction.

The document also places the UN Security Council in charge of fulfilling its mandate in resolution 2118 of September 27 2013. The resolution which places the Syrian chemicals file "under consideration by the Council" i.e. that the file remains open and permanently monitored.

The resolution stated in one of its paragraphs to ban Syria from "use, develop, produce, possess, stockpile or retain chemical weapons or to transfer chemical weapons in a direct or indirect form", followed by another paragraph stating that " no party in Syria can use, develop, produce, possess, stockpile, retain or transfer chemical weapons. "

Paragraph 21 sets out to warn against the consequences of breach and manipulation: "In the event of failure to comply with this resolution, including the unauthorized transfer of chemical weapons or any use of chemical weapons by anyone in the Syrian Arab Republic, measures will be imposed under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations."

The Nasri document proves in conclusive evidence that the regime of Bashar al-Assad violated - and proactively - all these paragraphs in part or in full; which requires the Security Council to move in response to the pledge to keep the chemical file "under consideration". This is these violations do not necessitate using UN Chapter VII.

Although the Nasri document was issued several days before Security Council resolution several days, it provides compelling proof of the bold behavior of a regime that was deceiving the International Community and its governments and organizations - at the very time when the regime was under their microscope after the great chemical massacre in East Ghouta of Damascus. It is a given that this regime is more maneuverable and lethal and “bolder” in misleading, after reassuring the International Community that it has handed over all of its chemical stockpiles.

Zaman A Wasl
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