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Al-Safir Missile Base

  • Location
    301km north of Damascus and approximately 30km southeast of Aleppo in the province of Halab
  • Type
  • Facility Status

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This page is part of the Facilities Collection.

The Al-Safir complex in northern Syria houses a Scud missile base, missile storage, chemical weapons production, and weaponization and testing facilities. 1In 2009, a Jane’s satellite image analysis revealed that extensive construction took place at the site between 2005 and 2008, which has hosted three chemical weapons production facilities and a warhead and Scud storage facility. 2 Damascus has deployed a considerable number of Scud-D missiles at the adjacent missile base, which Syria may have armed with chemical weapons warheads. 3 The complex at one time included extensive fortified underground bunkers in which Syria stores the missiles and their launchers. 4 Damascus protects the complex with extensive perimeter defenses, checkpoints and SAM-2 batteries. 5 As of late 2021, the facility is believed to remain operational but it is unknown if it continues to house chemical weapons facilities or missile stockpiles.


Scud is the designation for a series of short-range ballistic missiles developed by the Soviet Union in the 1950s and transferred to many other countries. Most theater ballistic missiles developed and deployed in countries of proliferation concern, for example Iran and North Korea, are based on the Scud design.
Chemical Weapon (CW)
The CW: The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons defines a chemical weapon as any of the following: 1) a toxic chemical or its precursors; 2) a munition specifically designed to deliver a toxic chemical; or 3) any equipment specifically designed for use with toxic chemicals or munitions. Toxic chemical agents are gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical substances that use their toxic properties to cause death or severe harm to humans, animals, and/or plants. Chemical weapons include blister, nerve, choking, and blood agents, as well as non-lethal incapacitating agents and riot-control agents. Historically, chemical weapons have been the most widely used and widely proliferated weapon of mass destruction.
The positioning of military forces – conventional and/or nuclear – in conjunction with military planning.


  1. Damien McElroy, “Syria’s ‘Chemical Weapons Factories’ Seen from Space,” The Daily Telegraph, 19 February 2009.
  2. “Chemical Romance — Syria’s Unconventional Affair Develops,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 12 February 2009, www.janes.com.
  3. “Chemical Romance — Syria’s Unconventional Affair Develops,” Jane’s Intelligence Review, 12 February 2009, www.janes.com.
  4. Yaakov Katz, “Syria Building Chemical Weapons Plant,” The Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2009, www.jpost.com.
  5. “Images Depict Syrian Chemical Weapons Site,” UPI, 18 February 2009.


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