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San Francisco, CA -
According to sources who need to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, US spy satellites tracked a convoy of about four dozen trucks and two dozen tanks traveling along the banks of the Euphrates River until it reached Al Qaim on the Syrian border. At that point the secret cargo was off loaded from the trucks onto barges, presumably to avoid the border crossing station, and transported up the river to the Syrian town of Abu Kamal. It was then reloaded onto trucks and transported further up river to Al Mayadin, well inside Syrian territory.
The nature of the cargo is unknown. Some suspect it was wealth from Iraq looted by Saddam during his 25-year rule, and perhaps intended to sustain the Baath party elite during their exile. Others fear it was the fruits of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs, given to the Syrians to repay them for their loyal support over two decades. However, the CIA believes it was the remnants of Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, stashed in Syria in order to keep it in Muslim hands.
Among those believed escorting the cargo was Farouk Hijazi, a former senior intelligence operative and Iraq's ambassador to Tunisia. His presence lends the secret cargo diplomatic immunity. Thus even Syrian officials have been unable to ascertain the nature of the cargo.
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