Der Spiegel: German companies helped Syria build chemical weapons

Der Spiegel published information from German archives saying that several German companies may have helped former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad and his son Bashar al-Assad to build chemical weapons, which unidentified criminals subsequently used to kill as many as 1,500 people in Syria, Pravda.Ru reports. 

The archival records of the German Foreign Ministry were declassified 30 years after they were compiled. The documents mention six companies, which in 1984 provided assistance to Damascus in the development of chemical weapons. Surprisingly, the list of such companies includes organizations specializing in supposedly harmless production profiles - glass-maker Schott, pharmaceutical Kolb and Merck and others.

The documents say that since the mid-1970s, the companies were cooperating with Syrian organizations under the guise of "agricultural and medical research" to create chemical weapons - sarin gas, Pravda.Ru says

However, the current German government, having received the list of German companies from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons refused from accusations against them. 

"When it comes to war crimes and crimes against humanity, the German government is unyielding -- particularly when it comes to finding excuses for why it should do nothing when it comes to potential German perpetrators," Der Spiegel analysts wrote. 

Despite the fact that the documents had been handed over to Angela Merkel and the German government more than a year ago, no special commission to establish their authenticity and investigate those facts was created. To crown it all, representatives of the above-mentioned companies claim that the archives in question have long been lost or destroyed.


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