Syrian chemical weapons are still under the control of President Bashar al-Assad, contrary to reports saying Damascus could lose such arms in the chaos of civil war, Amos Gilad, head of the Defense Ministry Diplomatic-Security Bureau, said Sunday.
“As far as my assessment goes, the weapons are still secure and have not been moved, but we need to monitor this at every moment,” Gilad said, according to Israel Hayom. “Israel needs to monitor it, and it has been doing so.”
As Syria’s southern neighbor, Israel feels at risk from the deepening conflict and has said it would intervene to stop jihadi rebels or Lebanese Hezbollah terrorists from seizing Assad’s chemical weapons.
Echoing Gilad’s remarks that the regime is still in control of the weapons, Vice Prime Minister and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon told Israel Radio on Sunday, “On these matters, we have to be prepared to protect ourselves, by ourselves. … At this time, we see no sign that this weaponry is being pointed at us.”