IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Tuesday addressed growing concerns surrounding the revolution in Syria and recent reports from the FSA (Free Syrian Army) that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad has moved his chemical weapons.
According to Gantz, in a briefing to members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the relocation of the weapons actually represents increased precautions by Assad to prevent the weapons from falling into the hands of rebel forces, but quickly added we cannot know just how long this situation will remain as it is today.
This is accompanied by concerns that the weapons may make their way to Hizbullah forces, which would result in a serious threat to Israel. He did not ignore this; rather he detailed the IDF’s concerns of such weapons falling into the hands of Hizbullah or similar terror organizations. He is quoted as adding that an attack by Israel in response to the movement of the chemical weapons might lead to an unintentional broad military campaign, which is unwanted at this time.
The military commander confirmed that the Northern Command was monitoring events constantly along with the intelligence community and appropriate measures are taken.
Regarding the recent attack against Israeli tourists in Burgas Bulgaria, the commander stated that Israel will find the correct means to retaliate for the attack which left six persons dead, including five Israelis towards maintaining Israel’s deterrence.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)