Syrian ‘chemical, biological’ weapons worry Israel

Israel has serious concerns about what will happen to “huge stockpiles” of chemical and biological weapons in Syria when the Assad regime collapses, a senior military official said in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Major-General Amir Eshel, head of the Israeli military’s planning division, said the working assumption was the regime of President Bashar al-Assad would eventually fall.

“The question is when, not if. And the big question is what’s going to come the day after,” he said.

“The immediate concern is the huge stockpiles of chemicals, biologicals (weapons), strategic capabilities that are still going into Syria, mainly from eastern Europe,” Eshel said.

“That’s a major concern because I don’t know who is going to own those the day after. Up till now, what has been transferred to Hezbollah? What will be transferred to Hezbollah? What will be divided between those factions inside Syria? What is that going to create?

“We are talking about huge stockpiles,” he said.

The regime has spearheaded a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists seeking to overthrow Assad, who has vowed to remain in power, raising the spectre of civil war between Syria’s many religious sects if he steps down.

Eshel said the threat of civil war was a real possibility if Assad clung to power.

“If Assad will adopt this Yemenite model and leave, it might prevent a civil war,” he said, referring to an agreement that saw Yemen’s former president Ali Abdullah Saleh agree in November to leave power.

“But if he won’t leave of his own will, we might get into civil war,” he said. “If there will be a civil war, it might be a disaster.”

Eshel also warned that Syria faces bankruptcy, which could create new instability.

“I think the major challenge the Syrians will face in a few months, is bankruptcy. The reserves will be zero, and this is going to create, I think, internal turmoil. We can expect refugees in many countries.”

On January 10, Israel’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Benny Gantz told MPs that the military was preparing for the possibility of an influx of Syrian refugees, particularly on the occupied Golan Heights.

vancouversun.com

Syria's Al-Safir chemical warfare complex (right, marked in green) and the Kafr Aakkar missile base (left, marked in light blue). An SA-2 missile is seen on the far right (marked in red)
  • wargame1

    Hezbollah and Irans mullah regime are  pro Assad and I hope the whole world knows it and they are helping Assad therefore the concern of Major-General Amir Eshel “I don’t know who is going to own those the day after” is certainly not pointing at Hezbollah/Iran and it seems those weapon were and still are  at the safe hand all these years….. 

  • Anonymous

    Hezbollah and Irans mullah regime are  pro Assad and I hope the whole world knows it and they are helping Assad therefore the concern of Major-General Amir Eshel “I don’t know who is going to own those the day after” is certainly not pointing at Hezbollah/Iran and it seems those weapon were and still are  at the safe hand all these years….. 

  • If Hezbollah receives and uses chemical weapons it will be the end of Lebanon and most likely Syria..

  • If Hezbollah receives and uses chemical weapons it will be the end of Lebanon and most likely Syria..

  • If Hezbollah receives and uses chemical weapons it will be the end of Lebanon and most likely Syria..

  • kapai

    i cant figure israels concerns about chemical and biological weapons when it has nuclear weapons .a bit of hypocracy???

  • Anonymous

    i cant figure israels concerns about chemical and biological weapons when it has nuclear weapons .a bit of hypocracy???