Syria Must Not Have Chemical Weapons, Israel Says
Israel’s intelligence minister said Tuesday that Syria cannot be allowed to obtain chemical weapons, after a report emerged that Israel targeted the country’s chemical weapons facilities.
In an interview with Israeli Army Radio, Elazar Stern would not directly comment on the report in the Washington Post that said that Israel struck Syria on two occasions — once this year and once last year — in a bid to block attempts to rebuild its chemical weapons stockpile. But Mr. Stern, a retired military general, hinted that Israel could not accept such weapons in the hands of its enemy to the north.
We have a neighbour who has already proved that it doesn’t hesitate to use chemical weapons even against its own people, he said. Syrian leader Bashar Assad must not have chemical weapons.
Israeli officials have declined to comment on the media report.
Military affairs commentators in Israel, who often are briefed by top defense officials, said the timing of the report was not a coincidence and comes as negotiators are meeting with Iran in Vienna to try to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.