Report: Hizbullah Official Says Assad Made Big Mistake by Using Chemical Weapons
German intelligence said Tuesday that spying on a conversation between a Hizbullah member and an Iranian diplomat provided “an additional clue” that proves Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in the August 21 attacks.
"The intelligence agency (BND) intercepted a phone conversation between a high-ranking Hizbullah member and the Iranian embassy and in which the Hizbullah official seems to admit chemicals were used,” a report by Der Spiegel magazine said.
It elaborated: “He said in the phone call that Assad lost his nerves and made a big mistake by ordering the chemical weapons attack.”
The magazine said the revelation was made during a secret briefing to select lawmakers on Monday, in which BND head Gerhard Schindler said that while there is still no incontestable proof, analysis of the evidence at hand has led his intelligence service to believe that Assad's regime is to blame.
Schindler explained that “only Assad's regime is in possession of binary chemical weapons such as sarin.”
“The BND believes that regime experts would be the only ones capable of manufacturing such weapons and deploying them with small missiles and that they were used in attacks before August 21,” the German magazine said.
It pointed out: “The telephone conversation intercepted by the BND could be an important piece in the puzzle currently being assembled by Western intelligence experts.”
Der Spiegel's report comes after U.S. President Barack Obama warned last week he was ready to launch military strikes on Assad's regime over its alleged use of chemical weapons.
Washington has accused the regime of Assad of carrying out the August 21 attack near Damascus, which U.S. officials say killed nearly 1,500 people, including hundreds of children.