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Report: Israel secretly operating in Syria

Dec. 9, 2012 at 10:00 PM   |   Comments

DAMASCUS, Syria, Dec. 9 (UPI) -- Israel is covertly monitoring Syria's chemical and biological weapons, The Sunday Times of London reported.

"For years we've known the exact location of Syria's chemical and biological munitions," an Israeli source told the newspaper, adding, " ... in the past week we've got signs that munitions have been moved to new locations."

The newspaper said the Israeli's intention is to track Syria's non-conventional armaments and sabotage their development. Special Israeli forces are operating as spotters, the newspaper said.

The decision to pursue this strategy came after Israel rejected the idea of conducting an aerial or ground assault to destroy Syrian President Bashar Assad's stockpile of chemical weapons, mainly purchased from Russia, the newspaper said.

If it becomes apparent that chemical weapons are being used by Assad, then Israel and the United States may coordinate to carry out a ground invasion, the newspaper said.

There has been no Israeli government response to the report.

U.S. officials said the White House and its allies are weighing military operations to secure Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, Haaretz said.

Israel has also been in contact with Jordan to coordinate the issue. Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said his country is preparing "for different scenarios" and said the use of chemical weapons by Syria would be considered a "game changer."

The Syrian Network for Human Rights said 107 people, including one child and one woman, were killed Sunday as a result of the hostilities.

Syrian rebels Saturday captured a chloride factory at Al Safira east of Aleppo considered to be the country's biggest chemical weapons store and base, which also houses Syrian Scud D missiles armed with chemical warheads adjusted to fire at Israel, Debka.com reported.

The Israeli military news website said the fall of Al Safira and the chemical weapons stockpile into rebel hands puts the Assad regime at high risk.

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