Israeli army fears that Syrian chemical weapons could reach Hezbollah

Bashar al-Assad

Yair Naveh, the Israeli deputy army chief of staff, expressed concern this week that Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal could be transferred to Hezbollah, which could impact not just Israel but the whole world.

Naveh made the statement at the 2012 Israeli Conference on Air and Land Jointness. He said that while Bashar al-Assad, the Syrian president, is still in control of the country’s advanced weaponry, the stockpile could be transferred to the militant group, ABNA reports.

“(The weapons) have already been transferred to the Syrians and may one day be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah,” Naveh said, according to ABNA. “The existence of these systems creates a reality in which the Israel Air Force will need several hours to first deal with the air defense systems before turning to other missions. The proliferation of these systems needs to concern not just Israel, but also the entire world.”

Naveh said that Syria has spent $3 billion in recent years on advanced surface-to-air missile systems developed by Russia. In addition, ground positioning system jammers could get in the way of Israel’s ability to hit targets in Syria, Gaza or Lebanon during future military conflicts.

“The IDF is investing in accurate firepower from the air and precise munitions from the ground,” Naveh said, according to ABNA.

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