Report: West fears Iran is supplying chlorine bombs to Syria

A woman, affected by what activists say was a gas attack, breathes through an oxygen mask inside a field hospital in Kfar Zeita village in the central province of Hama April 12, 2014. (Reuters)

Western security officials are reportedly investigating allegations that Iran supplied Chinese-made bombs filled with chlorine gas to the Syrian armed forces.

The Telegraph reported that the allegations were made after satellite images emerged of a Syrian supply flight at Tehran’s main airport.

According to the newspaper, Iran is understood to have procured 10,000 chlorine canisters from China that, according to other media reports, had been sent to Syria.

According to the Telegraph, Western security officials say the Assad government has established a regularly-used air freight route between Syria and Iran, using Syrian military cargo aircraft.

The Israeli military website Debkafile reported that Iran was supplying Syria with the new Chinese-made chlorine bombs, earlier this month.

Meanwhile the Telegraph reported that Western security officials monitoring exchanges between Iran and Syria say a new series of arms shipments began on January 28 and has continued ever since.

Photographs provided by intelligence satellites show a Syrian Ilyushin 76 aircraft at Mehrabad airport in Iran, which is used by the Iranian air force.

“The clear advantage of using this type of cargo plane is the large quantity of weapons that can be transferred in a single flight,” a Western security official told the Telegraph. “The provision of large amounts of Iranian arms to the Assad regime has undoubtedly helped it to gain the upper hand on the battlefield.”

Claims that Syrian armed forces regularly use chlorine weapons are now being investigated by the U.N.’s Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:43 - GMT 06:43