Israeli defense minister foresees no chemical attack
Barak, in an apparent reference to Syria, said that he is so sure an attack is not forthcoming that he is willing to turn in his government-issued gas mask, according to Associated Press.
Last week, Syria threatened to use chemical and biological weapons if it faces a foreign attack. The threat is widely believed to have been directed towards Israel. Israeli leaders, including Barak, have indicated their willingness to attack Syrian arms depots in order to keep militants from acquiring Syria's stockpile of chemical and biological weapons.
"In the moment we see that the Syrians transfer chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah, this is a red line for us and from our point of view it's a clear 'casus belli,'" Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said, IsraelNationalNews.com reports.
Retired Israeli general Shlomo Brom joined several other experts in downplaying the risk posed by Syria's strategic weapons, despite the Israeli government's warnings. Brom said that the components of chemical weapons and their delivery systems are usually held in various locations and that it would be difficult for small groups to collect and assemble them, according to CBSNews.com.