Israel watching Syria chemical weapons

Dec. 9, 2012 at 2:38 PM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- The Israeli ambassador to the United States said Sunday his country had drawn a "red line" against Syrian chemical weapons falling into the wrong hands.

Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Ambassador Michael Oren said that while Syrian President Bashar Assad was "reckless and irresponsible and ruthless," a bigger threat to regional stability would be allowing al-Qaida and its ilk to get their hands on Assad's chemical weapons arsenal.

"Can you imagine if Hezbollah, with its 70,000 rockets, got its hands on chemical weapons that could kill thousands of people," Oren said.

The ambassador declined to comment on media reports Israeli intelligence had agents inside Syria monitoring the chemical-weapons situation. He said, however, Israel was aware of what was going on and had drawn a "red line" in terms of weapons falling into the wrong hands.

"The jihadist presence is big and getting bigger," Oren said. "And the longer the conflict goes on there, the bigger it will get."

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