Netanyahu Warns of Syria Attack Over Chemical Weapons
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned on Tuesday that Israel would not hesitate to launch a military operation in Syria if it feels that there is a threat that the country's stockpile of chemical weapons will end up in the hands of terrorist organizations such as Hizbullah.
"Israel will consider a military operation if it feels there is a fear that chemical weapons�will leak to terrorist groups like Hizbullah," Netanyahu said during his meeting with European Union diplomats in Jerusalem.
He added that "Hizbullah is actively engaged in the massacre of the Syrian people." Netanyahu also referred to the support that President Bashar Al-Assad's regime receives from Iran, saying that "without Iran - Assad would survive."
Syria has admitted it has chemical weapons and has threatened to use them if attacked by external forces. It claimed it will not use these weapons on rebels fighting to oust Assad.
Recent reports from Syria indicated that Assad has transferred a battery of advanced missiles to the al-Masna border crossing, which is the central route used to transfer equipment and weapons to Hizbullah. Members of the Syrian opposition said that one of two major chemical arsenals of the Syrian regime is located near that border crossing.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta recently indicated that the Syrian regime has moved some chemical weapons to safeguard the material as it wages war against rebel forces but the main storage sites for its arsenal remain secure.
French President Francois Hollande recently warned that the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime would provide a legitimate cause for a foreign intervention.
In his meeting with EU representatives, Netanyahu referred to the peace agreement with Egypt and expressed his opposition to any future change in the wording of the agreement.
"Any change may lead to the cancellation of the peace treaty," said the prime minister and expressed the hope that the new regime in Egypt will work harder to prevent terrorist attacks in the Sinai Peninsula.