As more reports confirm the Assad regime used chemical weapons against it's people, the history of Assad's weapons program becomes more important to understand. Sources indicate that much of Assad's chemical weapons came from Russia - a country in possession of large stockpiles of arms left over from the Cold War. According to the 1992 Nunn-Lugar initiative, former Soviet states were supposed to dispose of their chemical weapons using facilities such as the one above. But back in 2012, Vladimir Putin of Russia reneged on that commitment.
Given this history, It should come as no surprise that Russia's Syrian ally acquired much of its chemical weapons from former Soviet states. Russia is not the only culprit, however. A number of Western European countries and even some U.S companies are responsible for supplying the regime with chemical arms. Read the whole story at the New York Times and view The history of the Cold Wars's arms race and aftermath at Science Source.