Former Mossad chief: Israel is preparing for Syrian military action

Danny Yatom, the former chief of Israel's national intelligence agency Mossad, said on Thursday that Israel is preparing for potential military action in Syria in case its chemical weapons end up in terrorist hands.

Yatom said there is concern that the regime of Bashar al Assad could deliberately give Hezbollah its chemical weapons or that the weapons could be taken by other terror groups, Sky News reports.

"The conventional wisdom should be that we cannot exclude a non-conventional attack on Israel," Yatom said, according to Sky News. "We would have to pre-empt in order to prevent it. We need to be prepared to launch even military attacks...and military attacks mean maybe a deterioration to war."

Syria may have the largest stockpiles of sarin, VX and mustard gas in the Middle East.

While the Syrian border has remained quiet in recent years, a top Israeli Defense Force commander said that the battle being waged in Syria could have an effect on Israel.

"Al-Qaeda related factors that are active there now and working against the regime may operate against us over time," Yair Golan, the northern district commander of the Israeli Defense Force, said, according to Channel 2 News. "The Syrian threat to Israel requires attention. It will not happen tomorrow morning, but it can occur within a few months. Syria has weapons of mass destruction along with a very heavy arsenal of weapons, including surface-to-ground missiles and chemical weapons. The fact that Syria is a storehouse of weapons which fuels terrorists in the region is very unsettling."