Israel threatens Syria over use of chemical weapons

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently warned that Israel would launch a military operation to prevent Syrian chemical weapons from falling into the hands of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.

Syria has said it possesses chemical weapons but would only use them against an external threat and not against the rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad, according to

"Israel will consider a military operation if it feels there is a fear that chemical weapons will leak to terrorist groups like Hezbollah," Netanyahu said, reports. "Hezbollah is actively engaged in the massacre of the Syrian people."

The prime minister made the comments during a meeting with diplomats from the European Union in Jerusalem. Netanyahu added that without Iran, Assad could not continue to survive in Syria for any extended length of time. He also mentioned that any changes in the wording of a peace agreement with Egypt could be cause for the treaty's cancellation.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta recently said that Assad's regime has moved some of its chemical weapons stockpile in order to safeguard it against rebel forces, but that its main storage sites remain secure.

French President Francois Hollande recently said that any use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government would be cause for foreign intervention into the civil war.