CERS center, established in Syria in 1971, is the Scientific Studies and Research Center (SSRC), or in its French name: the Centre D’Etudes et de Recherches Scientifiques (CERS). The center is a Syrian governmental organization whose declared goal is promoting, directing, and coordinating scientific activities in Syria.
According to a special report prepared by Tal Beeri and Teddy Sapir from the Alma Research and Eeduction Center in Israel, the CERS center employs around 20,000 people. The majority of the center’s personnel are Syrian researchers, engineers, and military officers of various specialties. The facilities of the center are spread across Syria and comprise a variety of institutes, factories, industrial, and storage sites.
“The CERS center serves as Syria’s national military industry. According to numerous studies and publications in the press, research institutes, and reports from intelligence agencies around the world over the years, the CERS center is accountable for the research, development, and military production of advanced weapons such as surface-to-surface missiles (such as the M-600 / Fateh-110 missile, which is at the heart of the joint Iranian-Syrian and Hezbollah precision project), and it is even possible that the CERS center is a partner in the ‘Labaik’ project. In addition, the CERS center is responsible for developing and manufacturing chemical, biological, and potentially nuclear weapons.”
According to the special report, the CERS center produces unique but not necessarily advanced weapon systems, such as barrel bombs and Al-Burkan rockets (barrel bombs mounted on a rocket). The CERS center is also defined as one that conducts economic, social, and industrial research and development. The center is in charge of computerization and technological equipment at Syrian universities and government departments, among other things.
The Alma center says that the CERS center is envisioned as a “growth engine” for the development and production of modern conventional weapons based on Iranian technology on Syrian soil. “Furthermore, the CERS center operation shortens and saves the logistics of transferring weapons from Iran, which is more vulnerable to harm/disruption and obstruction.”
According to the report, the CERS center plays another critical function. The Center has vast experience and understanding of chemical weapon development and production. “The Syrian leadership has fostered and developed extensive chemical capabilities to generate deterrence vis-à-vis Israel. The CERS center was given responsibility for this in the 1980s.”
The report reveals that the CERS center is responsible for developing chemical and biological weapons. “This capacity has never been deployed in an attack against Israel. However, it was used against the Syrian people multiple times during the civil war.”
The Syrian regime claimed to have (supposedly) submitted all of its chemical weapons to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) as part of the 2013 chemical weapons disarmament procedure; however, chemical weapons were nonetheless used during the civil war.
“We assess that the Syrian regime now possesses extensive chemical capabilities. The Syrian regime considers the stockpiles of chemical weapons in its possession and the threat they pose as a guarantee of its survival.”