Assad retains 5%-10% of chemical weapons arsenal

Based on intelligence data that has been collected thus far, only some of the sites that Israel knows to be used by Assad to store chemical weapons were destroyed in Saturday’s attack by the United States, France and Britain. Moreover, Israeli officials have indicated that “even if they had all been destroyed, they wouldn’t have included the chemical weapons that we don’t know where they were hidden by the Syrians.” They pointed to the fact that there were no instances of leaked chemical agents in the aftermath of the attack, which only reinforces the assessment that the major stockpiles were not damaged. Furthermore, the Syrian Air Force suffered only light damage and, as such, the Syrians’ ability to drop chemical weapons on targets was barely damaged. That is why, Israeli officials indicated that the U.S.-led attack failed to achieve most of its goals and will not deter Assad’s regime from using chemical weapons in the future.

The assessment by Israel’s security establishment is that Assad successfully retained between five and ten percent of the chemical weapons he formerly had in his arsenal, prior to signing the agreement to get rid of his stockpile in September of 2013. In the wake of Trump’s threats about an impending attack, the Syrians made efforts to spread out and hide planes, delivery means and weapons; measures that have successfully safeguarded most of their military capabilities.