Hezbollah, the Shiite terror organization based in south Lebanon, has set up bases in Syria near locations known to house chemical weapons, Ynet.com reported Monday. The news comes a day after Israeli officials threatened to take preemptive action against Bashar al-Assad’s embattled regime and any others who try to move chemical weapons into the hands of terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah.
“If there will be a need, we will take action to prevent chemical weapons from being transferred to Islamic terror organizations,” Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said on Israeli Army Radio Sunday. “We are obligated to keep our eye on it at all times, in the event chemical weapons fall into Hezbollah’s hands.”
Also Sunday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at his weekly cabinet meeting: “We must look around us, at what is happening in Iran and its proxies and at what is happening in other areas, with the deadly weapons in Syria, which is increasingly coming apart.”
Israel has also reportedly expressed fears that advanced anti-tank and anti-aircraft weaponry, supplied by Russia to Syria, could be acquired by Hezbollah, reducing Israel’s air and armor superiority against the terrorist organization.
Israeli daily Maariv reported Monday that Netanyahu had dispatched National Security Council head Jacob Amidror to Moscow in an attempt to have the Russians help contain the movement of chemical weapons inside Syria. Russia, which has remained an ally of the Syrian government throughout its civil war, tempered its support for the regime Sunday. Speaking of al-Assad, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told CNN: “The chances for him surviving are slipping away as days and weeks go by.”