A Syrian refugee's testimony suggests the Assad government earlier this year might have provided the Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah with information on employing chemical armaments, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
Intelligence findings in recent weeks have suggested Syria is combining sarin nerve agent precursors and loading warfare materials into munitions. The reported developments come as rebel fighters push toward Damascus.
A pair of Syrian armed forces officials in January transferred roughly 220 pounds of chemical warfare substances out of an undisclosed facility close to Nasiriyah, roughly 30 miles from Damascus, the Syrian source told the Post in recounting assertions from a one-time chemical arms staffer who had also fled the Assad government.
The informant said the Syrian regime has modified Mercedes and Volvo freight vehicles for transferring and preparing "binary" arms materials at a site in Dummar, close to the nation's capital. Preparation of the automobiles started in the middle of last year at the facility, which the source described as one component of a clandestine group of scientific locations dubbed "Bouhous."
The refugee suggested Syria had prepared between 10 and 15 of the vehicles, which are similar in appearance to cold-storage transport systems. The estimated quantity could be an exaggeration, but Syria does possess such automobiles, according to a second informant.
Authorities in Lebanon have not identified any such automobiles near the territorial boundary since Syrian rebels gave them an account of the vehicles roughly a month and a half ago, the Post reported.
An additional speaker supported descriptions of the Dummar and Nasiriyah sites as chemical arms facilities.