Al-Safir Missile Base

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Last Updated: August 1, 2010
Other Name: As Safirah; Al-Safir; Safir; Safira; Sfira; Sfire
Location: 301km north of Damascus and approximately 30km southeast of Aleppo in the province of Halab
Subordinate To: Syrian Scientific Research Council (SSRC)
Size: 5 sq km
Facility Status: Operational

The Al-Safir complex in northern Syria houses a Scud missile base, missile storage, chemical weapons production, and weaponization and testing facilities. [1] In 2009, a Jane's satellite image analysis revealed that extensive construction took place at the site between 2005 and 2008, which now consists of 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 includes 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]

[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,
[3] "Chemical Romance — Syria's Unconventional Affair Develops," Jane's Intelligence Review, 12 February 2009,
[4] Yaakov Katz, "Syria Building Chemical Weapons Plant," The Jerusalem Post, 17 February 2009,
[5] "Images Depict Syrian Chemical Weapons Site," UPI, 18 February 2009.

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This material is produced independently for NTI by the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of and has not been independently verified by NTI or its directors, officers, employees, or agents. Copyright 2019.