Israel warns of potential strike against Syria, sends official to Moscow

A top Israeli official recently said that any sign of the Syrian government losing control of its chemical weapons stockpile could trigger a military strike.

Israeli Vice-Premier Silvan Shalom, after making the comments, confirmed reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently called a meeting of his security chiefs to discuss the issue, according to

Shalom said that if Lebanon's Hezbollah guerillas, or rebels battling the Syrian regime, were to acquire chemical weapons it would drastically alter Israel's current security calculus. He alluded to the possibility of military intervention, a scenario Israeli generals have been planning for since the conflict began.

"The concept, in principle, is that this (chemical weapons transfer) must not happen," Shalom said, reports. "The moment we begin to understand that such a thing is liable to happen, we will have to make decisions."

Israel recently sent National Security Council Head Yaakov Amidror to Moscow to convince the Kremlin to take steps to prevent Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles from falling into the hands of terrorist groups, according to

Amidror reportedly met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other top officials. Russia has been a close ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but the Kremlin has sent several recent signals that its support may be waning.