Syria prepared to use chemical weapons, says Israel’s military intelligence chief

( Israel’s military intelligence chief said Syria is prepared to use chemical weapons against advancing rebel forces, the Associated Press reported.

Aviv Kochavi, Israel’s military intelligence chief. Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

Speaking at the Herzliya Security Conference, Israeli Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi said that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is making advanced preparations to use chemical weapons, but has not yet ordered their deployment.

Israel, along with many in the international community, are concerned that Syria could use its vast arsenal of chemical and biological weapons against rebels or civilians.

Recently, a U.S. intelligence official warned against Syria’s use of chemical weapons as its government becomes “increasingly beleaguered” amid continued gains by rebels.

“The opposition is gaining in strength; it is gaining territory… At the same time, the regime is experiencing shortages in manpower and logistics,” said James R. Clapper, director of national intelligence, in a statement to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.

Israel is also concerned that the Lebanese terror group Hezbollah may gain access to Syria’s arsenal. In January, Israeli jets reportedly struck a Syrian military convoy containing advanced anti-aircraft missiles that were headed for Lebanon. 

Posted on March 14, 2013 .