Leon Panetta and Shimon Peres hold a meeting in the Pentagon
Leon Panetta and Shimon Peres hold a meeting in the Pentagon. Photo by Amos Ben Gershom/Government Press Office
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“The US and Israel are in talks about destroying Syria’s chemical stockpiles,” according to a Fox News report aired last night.

According to the report, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak “reached out” to U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Wednesday night. Panetta, Fox News reported, expressed concern that any attack would “embolden” Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime.

There are conflicting reports about the nature of the discussions between Jerusalem and Washington – according to some reports, it is Israel that seeks to attack Syria’s chemical weapons stockpiles in order to prevent them falling into terrorist hands, but according to others – Israel is urging the US to carry out the attacks.

Fox News quoted U.S. Administration officials as saying that the US “knows where Syria keeps its chemical weapons.” The officials said that Damascus control about 50 different facilities of chemical weapons, and has tons of materials for the manufacture of toxins such as sarin, cyanide and and mustard gas.