As Syria Unravels, Israel Threatens Hit on Chemical Weapons
Chemical arsenal won't be allowed to fall into Hezbollah's hands, officials warn
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2013 3:44 AM CST
An Israeli soldier on top of a tank overlooking the Syrian village of Bariqa, close to the Israel-Syria border.   (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit, File)

(Newser) – Israel has warned that it will launch a strike to prevent Syrian chemical weapons from falling into the hands of Hezbollah or other extremists, the AP reports. Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom told reporters that top security officials met last week to discuss the threat Syria's chemical weapons pose. If they were transferred to extremist groups, "it would be crossing a line that would demand a different approach, including even action," he said.

  • Discussion of a pre-emptive strike came as part of Israel's "Iron Dome" missile defense battery was transferred to the northern city of Haifa, the New York Times reports. Officials claimed it was a part of a routine rotation, but journalists were skeptical. "Something is happening for sure," a security analyst with the country's Channel 2 News said. "Even in Israel, which is usually tense, and the normal nervousness that you have in this country, this is exceptional now."
  • As fighting raged in Damascus, Russian PM Dmitry Medvedev admitted that Bashar al-Assad's chances of staying in power are getting slimmer, Reuters reports. "I think that with every day, every week, and every month, the chances of his preservation are getting smaller and smaller," he said, but stressed that "this must be decided by the Syrian people."
  • In interviews yesterday, President Obama said he has been struggling with the question of whether to intervene in Syria. "I have to ask: can we make a difference in that situation?" he told the New Republic. "How would it affect our ability to support troops who are still in Afghanistan? What would be the aftermath of our involvement on the ground? Could it trigger even worse violence or the use of chemical weapons? What offers the best prospect of a stable post-Assad regime?"

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Showing 3 of 27 comments
reallybig
Jan 28, 2013 11:32 AM CST
TRUTH BE TOLD ..... Obama had the CIA take over the peaceful demonstrations in Syria and incited violent riots and killings to bring down the Assad regime. --- It was the CIA who infiltrated the peaceful protesters and started the violence, just like they did in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Mali, and now Syria. --- Obama's CIA actions in inciting this open rebellion in Syria, and providing weapons through it's oil producing lackey allied Kings and Emirs of non-Democratic countries, are the main reasons for Israel to be worried. --- If Israel attacked Syria now, the gates of hell will open up. Will 'somebody' tell that 'dumb-ass' Obama, when you overthrow a government with violence .. violence will always be the "rule" in opposition to a 'new' government. --- Violence is erupting in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Syria, caused by those who want to change their 'new' governments. --- Obama and the CIA have brought violence and revolt to the Islamic world, and this will be the norm, instead of peaceful elections. --- From now on, whoever loses an election, will use violence and armed rebellion to assume power, thanks to that 'dumb-ass' Obama and his interference. --------- REALLY
Luna_Park
Jan 28, 2013 8:18 AM CST
You go, Israel! And while your tactical jets are up in the air, go a little farther and nuke the Iranian reactors as well. Kill two birds with one stone.
KimKendall
Jan 28, 2013 8:10 AM CST
there are many israeli intelligence operatives in the syrian refugees