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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08STATE105464
2008-10-02 17:12:00
SECRET
Secretary of State
Cable title:  

MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR): SYRIA'S

Tags:  MTCRE ETTC KSCA MNUC PARM TSPA FR UK AS 
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VZCZCXYZ0007
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #5464 2761716
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P R 021712Z OCT 08
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA PRIORITY 0000
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0000
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0000
INFO MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME COLLECTIVE
						S E C R E T STATE 105464 

SIPDIS
PARIS FOR EST: HELEN SMITH
LONDON FOR CHRIS PALMER
CANBERRA FOR CAROL HANLON

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/02/2033
TAGS: MTCRE ETTC KSCA MNUC PARM TSPA FR UK AS
SUBJECT: MISSILE TECHNOLOGY CONTROL REGIME (MTCR): SYRIA'S
BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM AND FOREIGN SUPPLIERS

Classified By: ISN/MTR DIRECTOR PAM DURHAM FOR REASONS 1.4 (B), (D)
AND (H).



1. (U) This is an action request. Please see
paragraph 2.



2. (C) ACTION REQUEST: Department requests Embassy
Paris provide the interagency cleared paper "Syria's
Ballistic Missile Program and Foreign Suppliers" in
paragraph 3 below to the French Missile Technology
Control Regime (MTCR) Point of Contact (POC) for
distribution to all Partners. Department also requests
Embassy London provide paper to the MTCR Information
Exchange (IE) Co-Chair (John Andrews), and Embassy
Canberra provide paper to the Australian MTCR Plenary
Chair for 2008/2009 and/or appropriate staff. Info
addressees also may provide to host government
officials as appropriate. In delivering paper, posts
should indicate that the U.S. is sharing this paper as
part of our preparation for the Information Exchange
that will be held in conjunction with the MTCR Plenary
in Canberra (November 3-7). NOTE: Additional IE
papers will be provided via septels. END NOTE.



3. BEGIN TEXT OF PAPER:

SECRET//REL MTCR

SYRIA'S BALLISTIC MISSILE PROGRAM AND FOREIGN SUPPLIERS

Introduction

Despite having produced Scud missiles for over 10
years, Syria continues to rely on foreign sources for
critical components and technical expertise to support
its ballistic missile development efforts. North Korea
remains Syria's key Scud ballistic missile technology
supplier, although Syria's missile program has also
tried to procure missile-related technology from
suppliers outside North Korea, including MTCR Partners.

Foreign Support

Syria's lack of a self-sufficient ballistic missile
infrastructure has resulted in Syria turning to foreign
suppliers for items critical to its liquid and solid-
propellant ballistic missile programs. For example,
Syria has attempted-at times directly through its
missile-related entities-to procure hardware
significant for the maintenance and production of Scud
airframes, as well as various electronic components
used in Scud SRBM guidance and control systems.

Syria also has relied on North Korean entities to serve
as procurement agents for its missile program. Between
2005 and 2006, North Korean entities sought, on Syria's
behalf, raw materials, including graphite necessary to
construct the jet-vanes for Scud SRBMs and nozzle
throats for long-range battlefield rockets. In one
such case, Syria solicited North Korean assistance to
procure graphite from third countries, including China.
In 2005, a North Korean entity sought missile-related
alloys, such as titanium-stabilized duplex stainless
steel (Ti-DSS), for a Syrian ballistic missile entity.
Ti-DSS is an MTCR-controlled steel developed
exclusively for Scud missile production, and it remains
ideally suited for Scud-type short-range ballistic
missiles due to its strength and corrosion-resistance.
In yet another instance, a North Korean company shipped
several tons of Chinese origin missile-related
specialty steel to Syria's Scientific Studies and
Research Center (SSRC). North Korean procurement of
raw materials for Damascus continued in 2007 and 2008,
and during the January-April 2008 timeframe, a North
Korean entity worked to procure probable missile-
related steel and other materials from a China-based
entity for Syria. This trend is likely to continue, as
Syria will need to continue to acquire raw materials,
specialty metals, alloys, and chemicals for its missile
program.

Damascus also depends upon Pyongyang for the
acquisition of machine tools and testing equipment for
its ballistic missile program. North Korea on several
occasions has brokered sales of MTCR-controlled machine
tools for Syria from entities in Europe and Asia. Syria
has independently sought similar equipment from Western
firms using front companies affiliated with Syria's
SSRC. Syria's acquisition of these types of advanced
machine tools could allow it to expand and improve its
ballistic missile production capabilities.

Iran also has been assisting Syria in the ballistic
missile field since the early 1990s, when Iran
contracted with SSRC for the joint construction of both
solid- and liquid-propellant production facilities.
The infrastructure for a solid-propellant production
facility at Al Safirah has already been completed.
This facility may be used for production of the
unguided Iranian Zelzal rocket in Syria, and also might
be involved in developing solid-propellant motors for
an unidentified short-range ballistic missile that
Syria was preparing to test in December 2007.

Outlook

Syria is likely to continue seeking material and
technological support for its ballistic missile program
from foreign suppliers. Damascus will continue to rely
on Pyongyang for assistance because of the North's
extensive procurement networks and historical
association with Syria's ballistic missile program.
However, Syria's efforts to acquire solid-propellant
missile systems may continue to open the door for new
potential foreign partners such as Iran that have
experience with solid-propellant technologies.

END TEXT OF PAPER.



4. (U) Please slug any reporting on this or other MTCR
issues for ISN/MTR. A word version of this document
will be posted at www.state.sgov.gov/demarche.
RICE