A Sept. 30 article in Foreign Policy warned that “The World Hasn’t Tackled Syria’s Real WMD nightmare” — adding, “Forget the nerve gas. It’s Assad’s bioweapons program that should keep you up at night.” And in report released just this month, on “Al Qaeda’s Biological Weapons Program,” the London-based Henry Jackson Society warned that “while the world has been focusing on the destruction of Syria’s chemical weapon stockpiles, President Bashar al Assad’s biological weapons program is in fact a far greater danger that has not been tackled.” The HJS report warned that Al Qaeda’s Al Nusrah affiliate in Syria may already have access to “biological pathogens or weaponized agents either of which would pose a threat to the international community.” More specifically, this report cited an unnamed but “very credible source” who said he had seen “near Aleppo, a looted pharmaceutical laboratory, which was probably a cover for a biological weapons production site.” For yet more alarming specifics, there’s a 2007 report published by the New English Review that goes into some detail on Syria’s collaboration with Iran, North Korea and Russia, and alleges that “the US Intelligence Community negligently underestimates and denies the sophistication of the Syrian biological weapons programs which is very unfortunate.”
By all means, let us wish UN agencies, and anyone else who wants to get involved, the best of luck in containing Syria’s suspected polio outbreak, and vaccinating millions of Syrians against that terrible disease. That, at least, is a plan. On the matter of Syria’s biological weapons programs… is there a plan?