International Investigation

How Assad regime built chemical arsenal with aid of Germany and other countries

Russia, Armenia and the former West Germany were all major suppliers of technology and raw materials for Syria's programme of chemical weapon production, exiled Syrians who worked on the project have told Mediapart. They also say that, in violation of intentional law, the Damascus regime still has a secret arsenal of up to 35 tonnes of chemical weapons. René Backmann reports.

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A number of countries, including Russia, Armenia and Germany, have helped supply technology and raw materials used in Syria's chemical weapons programme, including the production of sarin gas, Mediapart can reveal. Syrian experts who worked on the programme and who are now in exile have described how young scientists were sent to train in the former West Germany to learn how to run chemical production facilities. They also claim that one Germany company that supplied raw materials for the Syrian regime “cannot not have known” that they were destined for use in chemical weapons. These latest claims follow revelations from Mediapart via those same scientists that dictator Bashar al-Assad first made plans to use chemical weapons against his own people in 2009 – two years before the start of the civil war.

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