Israel Plays WMD Card
Barak: Israel may Invade Syria, Seize Advanced Weapons
July 21, 2012 "Reuters"
-- Israel is preparing for a possible military intervention in
Syria in case the Syrian government hands missiles or chemical
weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Defense Minister Ehud Barak
said on Friday.
"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence
preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if
necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an
operation," Barak said in an interview on Channel 10 television.
We are following ... the possible transfer of advanced munitions
systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground
missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer
of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," he added.
"The moment (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) starts to fall we
will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other
agencies," Barak said.
Hezbollah, which has in the past received military and financial
support from Syria and Iran, launched thousands of mainly
short-range rockets into Israel during Israel's 2006 offensive
in southern Lebanon, but some longer-range rockets reached
Their border has largely remained quiet since then.
On Thursday, Barak toured the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau
that Israel captured from Syria in the Middle East war in 1967
and from where it can monitor movements inside the territory of
its northern foe.
Barak said Israeli troops were preparing to prevent an influx of
refugees into territory that Israel controls there.
"They (refugees) have not chosen to come close to us, but in the
event of the regime's downfall, which could happen..., (Israeli
forces) here are alert and ready, and if we have to stop waves
of refugees, we will stop them," Barak said.
Syrian rebels have assassinated four of Assad's closest aides in
Damascus and seized three border crossings with Iraq and Turkey
this week, putting the Syrian leader under greater pressure than
at any time in the 16-month uprising against his rule.
'US, Israel discuss destroying Syrian weapons'
: The United States and Israel were in discussions over whether
Israel should take out Syrian weapons facilities as the regime
of Syrian President Bashar Assad falters