Two days after a mysterious explosion at a Hezbollah weapons depot in southern Lebanon, the Kuwaiti website Al Jarida is reporting that Israel bombed the site because Syria had transferred missiles there that were capable of being equipped with chemical warheads. The missiles had been moved into Lebanon from Syria in the last several months and were being held inside warehouses owned by farmers in the area.
The report also claimed that Hezbollah has many additional warehouses across Lebanon that are used for the same purpose. In October another weapons storage facility in the town of Baalbek was destroyed after an explosion. The AFP said that four Syrians were killed in the blast.
…given that I’m not familiar with either the website in question, or the site that it’s drawing its story from. On the other hand, reports that Syria is using Hezbollah as a storage facility for its weapons of mass destruction have been circulating for years. Haaretz reported something similar happening in 2009; the Washington Post, of course, had a column on the subject a couple of days ago. On the gripping hand, if I was running the Syrian regime right now I’d want to have my WMD stockpiles under the control of somebody reliable… and when you’re dealing with a civil war, ‘somebody reliable’ often means ‘somebody you’re paying.’ So it’s not really surprising that the Assad regime would move its nasty stuff to someone who’d hold onto until it was needed – and maybe supply a little WMD blackmail against the West on the side, if that was needed.
And all of this leads to the next question: what are we going to do when the Syrian civil war reaches a tipping point? With reports coming in that the Assad regime is making
cruise [ballistic*]missile strikes against rebels – a pretty good indicator that the regime is worried; those things aren’t exactly recyclable – it may hit a point soon where we decide to intervene. If past history is any indication, if/when that happens it’d be done without reference to the War Powers Act… and if the (Democratic-controlled) Senate chooses to ignore that again then we might as well admit that the WPA is dead, dead, dead. Which is fine by me, but I was under the impression that various and sundry members of the antiwar movement had different opinions.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: While I expect John Kerry to get confirmed as Secretary of State, asking him whether his backstabbing of the WPA wrt Libya was part of a quid pro quo might be amusing.
[*Silly error on my part; I wasn't feeling all that well yesterday.]