Ambassador Oren: Israel is very concerned about Syrian WMDs
Wall Street Journal report claims Israel, United States monitoring Syrian chemical weapons; concern is that weapons may be transferred to Hezbollah and Hamas.
Israel is worried about the possibility that the Syrian military may transfer chemical weapons to terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah or Hamas due to instability within Syria, said Israeli Ambassador to the United States Michael Oren.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Oren stated that Israel is “very concerned about the status of Syria’s weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons,” and that both Israel and the United States are “watching this situation very carefully.”
According to a report published in the Wall Street Journal on Saturday, American intelligence agencies believe that Syria has large caches of chemical weapons of various kinds. Furthermore, the United States considers Syria one of the largest distributors of weapons of mass destruction, along with North Korea and Iran, and accuses Syria of smuggling weapons to Hezbollah and Hamas, including long-range missiles.
However, at this point, the U.S. government has no information that indicates that Syria has transferred any chemical weapons to terrorist organizations.
Nonetheless, the Americans are worried that the ongoing uprising in Syria will deteriorate into a Libya-like scenario, in light of intelligence reports which stated that several units within the Syrian military have taken a decidedly anti-Assad stance, increasing the possibility of a civil war.
And despite sanctions imposed on Assad by the West, the uprising continues. On Saturday morning, thousands gathered in the suburbs of Damascus in an attempt to march toward the capital. The demonstrators were encouraged by the fall of Muammar Gadhafi in Libya, and will call on Bashar Assad to leave his post as President, before he meets the same fate as the Libyan leader.
Two Syrian protesters were killed on Friday after confrontations with security forces. The United Nations published a report last week which claims that over 2,000 Syrians have been killed since the uprising began in January.