An unmanned Syrian MiG-21 and the threat of chemical warfare

All the Israeli intelligence sensors are pointing at a number of sites in Syria.

At these heavily guarded sites the Syrian regime is allegedly keeping weapons – deadly chemical weapons.

However, while not only Israel is monitoring the sites – as the clashes between the Syrian army and the rebels grow in number and casualties – Israel is the country under the greatest threat.

Recent unconfirmed intelligence data is shedding light on Syrian plans to use the deadly chemicals.

The unconfirmed data states that the Syrian air force has adapted an old Russian-made MIG-21 fighter to fly unmanned and carry chemical warfare materials.

This information is now being investigated by a number of intelligence organisations.

According to intelligence sources there are indications that Russian engineers helped with the upgrade.

On June 21 last year, Syrian pilot colonel Hassan Hamada took off in his MiG-21 from al-Dumair military airport, northeast of Damascus, and flew to King Hussein Airbase – just across Syria’s southern border with Jordan. Upon landing in Jordan, Hamada removed his icon of rank and requested political asylum.

The Syrian regime immediately admitted the pilot had defected and called him a traitor – but unlike earlier defections, Syria has put heavy pressure on Jordan to return the MiG-21.

According to some sources the MiG-21 was fitted with a remote control system, and the capability to carry and disperse chemical warfare materials.

Tal Inbar – a senior researcher at the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies in Israel – said that such adaptations have been made in other countries – one being Iraq.

However, he added that there is no hard evidence that the Syrians actually modified an old MiG-21 to perform unmanned missions with chemical weapons.

Recently, the Israeli air force (IAF) expressed concern about the Syrian stockpile of chemical warfare materials.

Maj Gen Amir Eshel said in a briefing that Syria was falling apart rapidly, and that the situation created a host of security threats that were “very, very close to Israel”.

He added that Damascus is in possession of stockpiles of advanced weapons.

“We don’t know what will happen the day after Assad falls. We are preparing ourselves for this, and for the eventuality of weapons flowing out of Syria,” he said.

Monitoring of Syrian bases in recent weeks has resulted in evidence that engineers have loaded the chemicals – which combine to form the deadly nerve agent sarin – into bombs that could be dropped from fighter aircraft.

Satellites have detected the movement of vehicles among the bunkers where the weapons and agents are believed to be stored.

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One Response to An unmanned Syrian MiG-21 and the threat of chemical warfare

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