An American military operation against Syria might provoke a nuclear catastrophe in the whole region. A nuclear reactor located near Damascus may be damaged during an attack on the city. Even if the reactor itself is not damaged, the defeat of the government troops will allow extremists to seize radioactive materials.
There is a China-made compact reactor near Damascus. It uses uranium-aluminum fuel containing weapons-grade uranium. In his time, the Chinese supplier transferred to Syria almost one kilogram of weapons-grade uranium as fuel for the reactor. So, the damage of this reactor will be a real catastrophe, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich warns:
“In case of a combat charge intentionally or unintentionally hitting the miniature reactor (a source of neutrons) near Damascus, the consequences can be catastrophic, without exaggeration. This means a probable contamination of adjacent territories with highly enriched uranium and decay products and actual impossibility to provide subsequent registration, control and safety of the nuclear material positioned on this site.”
Another danger is the fact that after the attack on Syria, the government forces may lose control over the nuclear facility. In this case, extremists may take possession of the radioactive materials. And although they will certainly not manage to create a real nuclear bomb, the consequences will be extremely dangerous, employee of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Igor Khokhlov notes:
“The matter is that the reactor, which is now located in Syria, does not contain technologies allowing to make a nuclear bomb. But on its base you can make a so-called “dirty bomb”. And, most important, in this case it will be impossible to control these nuclear materials. And we have to understand, given quite a tense situation in Europe and in extremist Muslim communities, that this dirty bomb can be used, first of all, against the Europeans themselves, including the countries that are so actively supporting the military operation. Against France, for example”.
To avoid the catastrophic consequences of the attack on Damascus, the Russian Foreign Ministry has urged the world community to pay attention to this problem, Alexander Lukashevich told the Voice of Russia:
“In order to prevent the development of events according to a negative scenario, we urge the Secretariat of the International Atomic Energy Agency to react to the situation and to provide this organization’s member-states with an analysis of risks associated with the alleged US strikes on the miniature reactor, a source of neutrons, and other objects on the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic”.
It is worth adding that in addition to direct threats to nuclear security, the strike on Syria is fraught with indirect ones. The thing is that this campaign will become a weighty argument for Iran in favor of creating nuclear weapons of its own. The regimes of Saddam Hussein or Muammar Gaddafi were no more odious than the regime of Kims in the DPRK. However, nobody dares to attack North Korea, because it is known that this state possesses a primitive nuclear bomb. If Bashar al-Assad is ousted with the help of the US, Iran will, obviously, be the next on a waiting list for a forced «democratization». To avoid this fate, the authorities of the Islamic Republic will try to protect themselves with the help of their own nuclear bomb. If it happens, their neighbors, such as Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will, probably, do the same and their example will be followed by other «threshold» countries. In the end, the non-proliferation regime will suffer an irreparable damage.