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Israel: Syria in control of weapons

Israel: Syria in control of weapons
A handout photo distributed by Syrian News Agency (SANA) on July 3, 2012, shows Syria's President Bashar al-Assad during an interview with a Turkish newspaper in Damascus. UPI | License Photo

JERUSALEM, July 25 (UPI) -- Israel is using spy satellites, aircraft and drones to monitor Syria's weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, officials said.

Israeli politicians and military officers in recent weeks have repeatedly said they are monitoring Syria's arsenal to keep weapons out of the hands of Hezbollah and other terror groups if the regime of President Bashar Assad falls, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

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Benny Gantz, the Israeli military's chief of staff, said Tuesday Assad's forces remain in control of their chemical weapons stockpiles -- which include mustard gas, VX and sarin -- and recently increased security amid the uprising that began in March 2011.

Israel has five of its own satellites in operation that use both cameras and radar technology, and also receives support from private satellite companies to monitor activities in Syria and other neighboring countries, the newspaper said.

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