Surprise: Western intelligence suspects Assad has a secret chemical stockpile

Asked for clarification of this statement, another official at the OPCW told The Daily Beast that Syria “destroyed all of its production facilities, mixing and filling equipment, and munitions designed for use with CW agents before Christmas” and has moved all but 92.5 percent of the weapons and constituent chemicals of its program out of the country. Mostly they have been put on Danish and Norwegian ships from which they will be transferred to a specially equipped American vessel, the Cape Ray, for final destruction before the June 30 deadline set by the U.N. Security Council.

“But the U.S. France and UK contend they have intelligence that indicates Syria did not declare all of its CW materiel to the OPCW and continues to hide assets,” said the same official in an e-mail. “Those allegations remain to be examined and there are intensive discussions on options for doing that.” Because of these suspicions, the remaining 7.5 percent has become “like the fat lady at the opera, it ain’t over until Syria has completely fulfilled its obligations to disarm.”

“We know about the programs, we know about the people, and we know about the munitions,” an American intelligence official told The Daily Beast. “But the production quantity of materials? That’s the area where we’re the haziest. … Accountancy is a big issue. We have conflicting information and we don’t know what to trust.”