Possible Chem Weapons Transfer May Prompt Israeli Strike on Syria

By:  Raven Clabough
01/29/2013
       
Possible Chem Weapons Transfer May Prompt Israeli Strike on Syria

The possibility of the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon’s Hezbollah or al-Qaeda-inspired groups could provoke Israel to launch a preemptive strike on Syria, reports indicate. The Jerusalem Post notes that Israel is currently on high alert as the potential for such a strike looms.

The possibility of the transfer of chemical weapons from Syria to Lebanon’s Hezbollah or al-Qaeda-inspired groups could provoke Israel to launch a preemptive strike on Syria, reports indicate. The Jerusalem Post notes that Israel is currently on high alert as the potential for such a strike looms.

Israel has publicly voiced concerns that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad might lose control of his chemical weapons in the midst of the Syrian civil war that is almost two years old.

Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom states that Israeli’s top security officials held a special meeting on Sunday to discuss Syria’s chemical weapons. According to Shalom, the transfer of Syria’s chemical weapons to violent groups such as Hezbollah may prompt Israel to attack:

The concept, in principle, is that this [chemical weapons transfer] must not happen. The moment we begin to understand that such a thing is liable to happen, we will have to make decisions [about a preemptive stike]. It would be crossing a line that would demand a different approach, including even action.

On January 27, Israel deployed its Iron Dome rocket defense system in the northern city of Haifa, an act that the military called “routine.” The Huffington Post notes,

Iron Dome, an Israel-developed system that shoots down incoming short-range rockets, was used to defend Israeli cities during a round of hostilities with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, on Israel’s southern flank, last November.

Yisrael Hasson, a former deputy head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence agency, asserts that his country has been closely monitoring developments in Syria to ensure that weapons are not falling into the “wrong hands.” He told Army Radio, 

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