Syria has reportedly rebuilt the structure that housed the reactor bombed by Israel last year and has turned the site into a facility for manufacturing chemical and biological weapons.
Official sources stated Syria had significantly expanded its biological and chemical weapons program by doing so.
According to a CBS News report, the discovery of the Syrian program was one of the reasons President Barack Obama decided to renew the sanctions against Syria. An American source said [the U.S.] had received information that had altered the situation in U.S.-Syrian relations. After Sunday night’s report on CBS, it was clear what this information was.
A senior American intelligence source in Washington told the Israeli media Syria had denied having rebuilt the structure and also denied it was part of its biological and chemical weapons program. American satellite imagery, however, showed unequivocally that Syria was lying.
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The discovery of the renewed Syrian biological and chemical weapons program adds to a series of differences of opinion that has left the Syrians and Americans in a deadlock.
Syria’s relationship with Iran, arming of Hezbollah and hosting of Hamas and other terror groups greatly troubles the Obama administration.
As a result, Mr. Obama announced a change in his Syria policy after his two envoys returned to Washington on Sunday.
The envoys went to Syria with the new intelligence showing the site that formerly housed the nuclear reactor had been restored and had become a structure housing an expanded chemical and biological weapons program.
Syria, however, denied the existence of the new program at the facility despite being shown the satellite footage, which was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
After Mr. Obama consulted with his advisers, he reached the conclusion that Syria had not done anything to justify removing the sanctions.
“The concerns we had about Syria’s actions have not changed, so renewing the sanctions was the right thing to do,” a senior White House source told the Voice of Israel Radio.
David Bedein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org