Western intelligence reports located three locations for the manufacturing of chemical and biological weapons in Syria that belong to for the Scientific Studies and Research Center. These reports held Brigadier General Bassam Hassan to be responsible for issuing orders to use chemical weapons.
In an intelligence document published by the BBC website, the locations are: the city of Masyaf in the Governorate of Hama, and the two suburbs of Barzeh and Dummar (Jamraya) around the capital Damascus.
The two factories of Masyaf and Barzeh are specialized in the assemblage of chemical weapons and long-range missiles and artillery shells.
Who Issued an Order to Use Chemical Weapons?
The document accused the government of the Syrian regime of “falsely” claiming that the work in one of these research branches was aimed at defensive purposes, while the work in fact continued to develop offensive capabilities.
The document also named a high-ranking official, Bassam al-Hassan, who played a key role in giving orders to use chemical weapons.
He has been listed in the 2014 list of US sanctions as President Bashar Al-Assad’s representative at the Scientific Studies and Research Center; he has a rank of brigadier general.
Enab Baladi referred back to Brigadier General al-Hassan’s file in the US Sanctions list. The file clarifies that he is the president of the Syrian regime’s strategic affairs counselor. He carries out several chief responsibilities in the Syrian regime, most notably, working as Al-Assad’s representative at the Scientific Studies and Research Center, a governmental agency responsible for the manufacture of non-conventional weapons.
Hassan is a commander in the Republican Guard. He is accused by US sanctions of being involved in arranging arms deals for the Syrian regime, and coordinating with representatives of foreign governments.
He was born in 1961 in the village of Shin in Homs. He is the successor of Brigadier General Muhammad Suleiman in the presidential palace, who was assassinated by Israel at the beginning of 2008.
It is believed that the operation of training the “Popular Committees” and redistributing them in an organized structure was coordinated between Tehran and Brigadier General Al-Hassan.
A “Fairytale” Ceremony is to be Organized Soon
Despite his multiple tasks, and perhaps because of them, rarely did the brigadier general appear publicly or on camera, except at the wedding of his daughter Bushra with the son of Palestinian businessman and merchant Naim Al-Jarrah.
The ceremony aroused then heated reactions, according to a previous report of Enab Baladi. The ceremony was held at Up Town Complex in Project Dummar in the capital Damascus. The lighting and the decor that were prepared by the company for the occasion showed that the wedding organizers paid a lot of money.
Up Town Complex was established in the eighth island of the Dummar Project (not far from the research center). This project is considered to be one of the most expensive areas of Syria, where a very large number of officials and officers reside.
The Center was Subject to Sanctions
The United States imposed sanctions on 271 employees at Jamraya Research Center (Dummar) in Damascus on the 24th of last April.
The United States Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that “the extensive sanctions are targeting the center that has scientifically supported the horrific chemical attack of the Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad against innocent men, women and innocent civilian children”
Doubts were revolving around the existence of an additional Syrian chemical weapons stock. However, several reports proved that it was still manufacturing toxic gases in secret locations.
The chemical weapons case reemerged again after the chemical attack on Khan Shaykhun, which killed at least 85 civilians, according to Idlib Health Directorate.