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Chemical weapon propulsion unit on Syrian missile 'made in Siberia', says Russian expert

By The Siberian Times reporter
18 September 2013

Evidence suggests this 'ancient junk' not fired by Assad regime but by rebels, it is claimed.

It was 'unlikely' the USSR had sold chemical weapons to Syria but said that in any case 'an old munition has clearly been improvised to take chemicals'. Pictured: Sibselmash factory in Novosibirsk, Slava Stepanov 

A leading Russian expert has acknowledged that the propulsion unit on one of the rockets responsible for the deadly Syrian chemical attack indicates it was manufactured at a secret Soviet plant in Siberia. However, the remnants of the 'antique' weapons provide new evidence the 'sarin' blast was the work of rebels and not the Damascus regime. 

President Assad's military machine would not have used this 'ancient junk' for a chemical attack when they have far more modern missiles, it was claimed.

The first missile was 'a 140-mm M-14-series rocket projectile from an old Soviet-made BM-14-17 multiple-launch system dating from 1952', said Ruslan Pukhov, director of Russia's Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies. The numbering shows it is from Sibselmash plant in Novosibirsk, which during the Cold War was 'one of the USSR's main producers of various types of unguided rocket projectiles. 

'The code 4-67-179 means the 4th batch in 1967 by factory 179,' he said.

Chemical weapon propulsion unit on Syrian missile 'made in Siberia', says Russian expert.


Chemical weapon propulsion unit on Syrian missile 'made in Siberia', says Russian expert.

President Assad's military machine would not have used this 'ancient junk' for a chemical attack when they have far more modern missiles, it was claimed. Pictured: Sibselmash factory in Novosibirsk, Slava Stepanov 

Pukhov claimed it was 'unlikely' the USSR had sold chemical weapons to Syria but said that in any case 'an old munition has clearly been improvised to take chemicals. 

'We know that the Syrians took the BM-14-17 out of service long ago and M-14-series projectiles for that weapon are long past their storage deadlines.' 

The Russian expert said: 'If they wanted to use chemical munitions then they probably would not have wanted to risk it with antiques like these and instead would have gone for the BM-21 Grad, for which they probably do have chemical munitions. 

'But the insurgents could have found this ancient junk after capturing some military storage depot.' 

The second projectile identified by weapons inspectors looked to be 'home made'. 

Blaming the Assad opposition for the attack, he claimed: 'The Syrian army is unlikely to be making and using such primitive munitions.'

Comments (3)

Let's be honest, Syria was well known to have the chems way before it happened and never denied the fact. Its army has been pushing rebels out of occupied towns. It went lenghts to convince UN to send in the investigation team for a site where rebels used the gas before, and Syria had hard time with it because USA were banning the dispatch. Now they have to investigate a new site instead of the old one where the identities of users are known. There is no way Assad would fire it then and there, not to mention that he won't target his own people and soldiers with a WMD

Not to mention that several rebels had intoxication when they moved containers with the gas that arrived from Saudi Arabia, and these Frenchies who were pro-rebel until they kidnapped them twice, they overheard a Skype conversation about the attack before it happened. Maybe the US should stop supplying weapons to islamists who terrorize locals, then Russia won't have to help out the last secular country in Middle East.
Mikhail, Irkutsk
22/09/2013 05:23
2
0
Let's be honest, Syria was well known to have the chems way before it happened and never denied the fact. Its army has been pushing rebels out of occupied towns. It went lenghts to convince UN to send in the investigation team for a site where rebels used the gas before, and Syria had hard time with it because USA were banning the dispatch. Now they have to investigate a new site instead of the old one where the identities of users are known. There is no way Assad would fire it then and there, not to mention that he won't target his own people and soldiers with a WMD. Not to mention that several rebels had intoxication when they moved containers with the gas that arrived from Saudi Arabia, and these Frenchies who were pro-rebel until they kidnapped them twice, they overheard a Skype conversation about the attack before it happened. Maybe the US should stop supplying weapons to islamists who terrorize locals, then Russia won't have to help out the last secular country in Middle East.
Mikhail, Irkutsk
22/09/2013 05:09
1
0
And of course it could not possibly be a ploy? Think about it. If I was Assad, I would not use the modern rockets. That is a dead give away they did this. If they use the old rockets, or home made ones as mentioned, they can then use this as an argument (which they have) that the rebels did it. Lets be honest here, Syria was not even admitting to having these weapons until now. But we are supposed to believe what they are now saying? And if you are innocent, why admit to having something you denied ever having and agree to give them up? And I am pretty sure if the rebels had access to these weapons, as Russia and Syria want the world to believe, the rebels would still have access to these and see the alleged conspiracy Russia and Syria claim to give the US to slap Syria silly did not work and they would be using these on Assad and his regime by now. Maybe the US should start selling Syria weapons so they stop buying the crappy Russian and Chinese weapons and then Russia and China would quit defending them since they would not have a reason, outside of sticking up for a fellow dictatorship/tyrant.
americanboy, usa
21/09/2013 11:15
0
1
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