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December 27, 2012 11:14 am

Israeli Vice Prime Minister: U.S. Preparing for Possible Syria Intervention

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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom.

The U.S. is gearing up for a possible military intervention in Syria in the event that chemical weapons are used on Syrian citizens or alternately fall into the wrong hands, Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister and Vice Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon told Israel Radio on Thursday.

Ya’alon voiced conviction that it was unlikely Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s sizable chemical weapons stockpiles would be used against Israel at this time, but said, “The very discussion of the issue, and the U.S.’s need to draw red lines, points to how dangerous Assad really is.”

“The U.S. and others have drawn two red lines recently,” Ya’alon said.

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“One [was] back in September, for the event that these weapons fall into hostile, irresponsible hands, perhaps Hezbollah, or other groups, possibly al-Qaida,” he said. “The other red line was drawn approximately four weeks ago on the understanding that Assad was considering and preparing and planning to use chemical weapons on his own people. That is why all the neighboring countries in the region are concerned, including Israel.”

“The U.S. is certainly spearheading the battle here, both diplomatically and in preparation for the possibility of intervention,” Ya’alon added. “I don’t know about deploying forces, but certainly there are different options to prevent this. Therefore, all the interested parties, including Israel, are closely monitoring the situation.”

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