Dec 10, 2012
There is growing concern that some of the chemical weapons the Assad regime has been pushing out of the Damascus area in the last few days were sent across the border to Hizballah strongholds in the Lebanese Beqaa Valley to keep them out of rebel hands. Syrian army officers who recently defected report that containers were last week removed from Syrian bases at Jabal Kalamon and loaded on vehicles camouflaged as commercial trucks. On the Lebanese side, the consignment is thought to have been split up and hidden at different Hizballah bases to make them harder to attack.
Israel’s US Ambassador Michael Oren, asked by a FOX TV interviewer Saturday Dec. 8, if he could confirm this, said he could not, but warned that any evidence of chemical weapons being passed from the Assad regime to extremist groups like Hizballah would be a “game-changer,” and a “red line” for Israel. “We have a very clear red line about those chemical weapons passing into the wrong hands. Can you imagine if Hizballah and its 70,000 rockets would get its hands on chemical weapons? That could kill thousands of people.”
Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon on he other hand saw no indication Sunday that Syria was planning to use chemical weapons against Israel. He refrained from going into any of the three possible perils presented by the regime in Damascus as it finds itself in a knife-edge situation:
1. Syria’s chemical weapons are deployed in at least five air force bases, with evidence of preparations to use them, as confirmed by British Foreign Secretary William Hague Saturday, Dec. 8.
US military sources explained early Monday, Dec. 10, that the nerve gas sarin is effective up to 60 days after its precursor chemicals are mixed. Placing the weaponized material in close proximity to warplanes indicates an intention within that timeline to drop the poison gas bombs from the air. After that, sarin must be destroyed in controlled conditions lest its poisons escape into the environment. No one knows if the Syrians have the necessary scientific manpower to take responsibility for this process.