As with most claims in war, the truth remains murky, but strong doubts about the veracity of accusations against Assad have only grown in recent weeks. Now, a classified U.S. military document obtained by WND confirms what had long been suspected: Al-Qaeda-led fighters with the rebel Jabhat al-Nusra Front in Syria are known to have been in possession of sarin gas, because some was confiscated from them earlier this year in Turkey.
Indeed, multiple news organizations reported in late May that Turkish officials — strong backers of the ongoing rebellion against the Syrian dictatorship — seized almost five pounds of the toxic gas from rebels during a raid on the Nusra front, a U.S. designated terrorist group fighting Assad. Authorities in Turkey later tried to deny the reports, but just last week, prosecutors charged Syrian rebels with trying to acquire deadly chemicals.
The U.S. military document obtained by WND, meanwhile, confirmed the seizure of sarin gas from opposition fighters, reported F. Michael Maloof, a former senior security policy analyst in the office of the secretary of defense. Classified as “Secret/Noforn” (“Not for foreign distribution”), the document notes that the chemical weapons from al-Qaeda in Iraq went to Turkey and that even though some were confiscated, more could have been used in an attack earlier this year on civilians and Syrian troops in Aleppo.
“It revealed that AQI had produced a ‘bench-scale’ form of sarin in Iraq and then transferred it to Turkey,” wrote WND’s Maloof in an article about the document, which came from the U.S. intelligence community’s National Ground Intelligence Center (NGIC). “The sarin gas was found in the homes of suspected Syrian Islamic radicals detained in the southern provinces of Adana and Mersia.”
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Photo of Syrian rebel fighters: AP Images