Thursday, October 28, 2004

Russia: Last out of the Gate?

Bill Gertz at the Washington Times is reporting that Russian special forces were tasked with removing weapons and destroying documents in the weeks leading up to the March 2003 Coalition invasion of Iraq. The article suggests that the weapons were to moved to Syria and dispersed to Iran and Lebanon.

John A. Shaw, the deputy undersecretary of defense for international technology security, said in an interview that he believes the Russian troops, working with Iraqi intelligence, "almost certainly" removed the high-explosive material that went missing from the Al-Qaqaa facility, south of Baghdad.

"The Russians brought in, just before the war got started, a whole series of military units," Mr. Shaw said. "Their main job was to shred all evidence of any of the contractual arrangements they had with the Iraqis. The others were transportation units."

Mr. Shaw, who was in charge of cataloging the tons of conventional arms provided to Iraq by foreign suppliers, said he recently obtained reliable information on the arms-dispersal program from two European intelligence services that have detailed knowledge of the Russian-Iraqi weapons collaboration.

Most of Saddam's most powerful arms were systematically separated from other arms like mortars, bombs and rockets, and sent to Syria and Lebanon, and possibly to Iran, he said.

Well, well.

I remember the Bush Administration in the weeks prior to Iraqi invasion had suggested that they had found evidence of Russian firms suppling Iraq with night vision googles, jamming systems and anti-tank missles; all items that were that were in direct violation of the UN sanctions so it is very well within the realm of possibilities that the Russian government had a vested self-interest in aiding the Saddam Regime in removing equipment, munitions and weapons from Iraq prior to the arrival of Coalition forces.

2 comments:

Iceman said...

ooohh

james said...

Something really needs to be done about the international arms trade. People can go on irrationally hating each other, but at least there would not be that means of invading, terrorism, etc.
Maybe we can sell our gun registry to the UN or something? Get our money back?
Really, I'm serious here. Or am I just dreaming...