Israel warns it will strike Syria if rebels or Hezbullah obtain chem weapons
A highly unusual meeting of Israel's security chiefs on Wednesday, the morning after the elections, is serving as a warning to all parties in the Syrian civil war that Israel regards chemical weapons falling into the hands of either the Syrian rebels or Hezbullah as a causus belli
that will draw a response.
Should Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas or rebels
battling forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad obtain Syrian
chemical weapons, [Deputy Prime Minister Sylvan] Shalom told Israel's Army Radio, "it would
dramatically change the capabilities of those organizations."
a development would be "a crossing of all red lines that would require a
different approach, including even preventive operations," he said -
alluding to military intervention, for which Israeli generals have said
plans have been readied.
"The concept, in principle, is that this
(chemical weapons transfer) must not happen," Shalom said. "The moment
we begin to understand that such a thing is liable to happen, we will
have to make decisions."
Interviewed separately by Army Radio, Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter said Syria was "on the verge of collapse."
asked whether Israel perceived an imminent threat, Dichter said: "No,
not yet. I suppose that when things pose a danger to us, the State of
Israel will know about it."
Labels: al-Qaeda, chemical weapons, Hezbullah, Syrian uprising