Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.

IDF Chief in U.S. to Discuss Syria Chemical Weapons

February 3, 2013 12:54 pm 1 comment

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey meets with Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, Chief of General Staff of the Israeli Defense Forces in Israel in January, 2012. Photo: Wikipedia

Israel Defense Force Chief of Staff Benny Gantz arrived in Washington, D.C., Sunday as the guest of his US counterpart, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin Dempsey.

A statement released by an IDF spokesperson said that the two  “will conduct a series of work meetings together, as well as meetings with other American officials. They will also discuss current security challenges, the regional security status in the Middle East and military cooperation.”

Sources in Israel’s security establishment told Israeli daily Yediot  Ahronot that during the five-day trip the two sides will deal primarily with developments and possible risks stemming from the civil war in Syria. The main issue will be how  the United States and Israel will deal jointly in the case that rebels or Hezbollah take control of chemical weapons now in the hands of the Syrian army.

Yediot Ahronot also reports that Western sources have indicated that Israel, the United States and possibly NATO would carry out air operations and even use ground forces to prevent chemical and biological weapons from falling into the hands of rebels or Hezbollah.

The meeting comes amidst mounting tension in the Middle East. Reports surfaced last week that Israel had struck a weapons convoy in Syria overnight Tuesday. In a rare move Syria confirmed an attack had taken place but said that the target was a scientific research center. Despite silence on the part of Israeli officials it was later reported by TIME magazine that Israel had struck multiple targets.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad responded to last week’s alleged Israeli strike for the first time on Sunday while speaking with Iranian envoy Saeed Jalili in Damascus. He said that Israel’s aggression “exposes the true role conducted by Israel in collaboration with the external forces hostile [to Syria] in destabilizing security in Syria and weakening it so that it forgoes its national principles.”

Assad said after the meeting that “Syria, with the power of its army and adherence to resistance, is able to confront all the current threats and curb any aggression against the Syrian army and its historical and cultural role.”

Also Sunday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was the first Israeli official to make public mention of the airstrike/s  in Syria.

Barak brought the issue up at a gathering of the world’s top diplomats and defense officials in Germany, initially saying: “I cannot add anything to what you have read in the newspapers about what happened in Syria several days ago.”

But, addressing the audience in English, he added: “I keep telling frankly that we said – and that’s proof when we said something we mean it – we say that we don’t think it should be allowed to bring advanced weapons systems into Lebanon.”

1 Comment

  • Dr. Greg Maloney,Ph.D.

    Syria is a festering plaque and pox ridden boil that is about to explode. Since smallpox vaccinations are no longer given regularly,the world’s population is a sitting duck for the rapid spread of this infectious virus.

    It is past time to militarily neutralize these germ agents, as well as to crank up serious global prevention and treatment programs that are more just window dressing.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition. Comments written in all caps will be deleted.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    A Theatrical Look at Diplomacy and the Oslo Accords (REVIEW)

    Is diplomacy worthwhile, even if the end result isn’t what we hoped for? That is the question, among many others, posed by the new play Oslo, by J.T. Rogers. Making its New York debut at Lincoln Center, the play examines the secret diplomatic process that led to the historic 1993 peace accords. The character of Shimon Peres makes an appearance onstage — and he, along with Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat, tower over the proceedings. But they mainly do so in absentia. Instead, […]

    Read more →
  • Spirituality/Tradition Sports Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    Israeli Trailblazer Dean Kremer Brings Jewish Values to Nascent Pro Baseball Career

    JNS.org – Other than being part of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, Sandy Koufax and Dean Kremer have something else in common: a respect for Jewish tradition. Koufax — who was recently ranked by ESPN as the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball (MLB) history — decided not to pitch Game 1 of the 1965 World Series because the game fell on Yom Kippur. “I would do the same,” Kremer said in an interview. Last month, the 20-year-old Kremer became […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    Lead Guitarist of British Rock Band Queen Asks Adam Lambert to Sing in Hebrew During Upcoming Israel Concert

    The famed lead guitarist of British rock band Queen, Brian May, encouraged Jewish singer-songwriter Adam Lambert to perform in Hebrew during their upcoming joint concert in Israel, an entertainment industry advocacy organization reported on Tuesday. During a recent interview with Israeli television personality Assi Azar, May was played a 2005 video of Lambert singing the popular song Shir L’Shalom, (Song for Peace). May was so impressed by Lambert’s singing of the Hebrew track that he told the American singer, “We have to do that. Let’s […]

    Read more →
  • Sports Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    Kenyan Marathoner to Compete for Israel in Rio Olympics

    JNS.org – Kenyan-born marathoner Lonah Chemtai is expected to compete for Israel at the Olympics Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil next month after gaining a last minute approval. “I am very proud [to represent Israel] and I hope to achieve a new personal best time,” Chemtai told Reuters. Chemtai, who grew up a rural village in western Kenya, first came to Israel in 2009 to care of the children of her country’s ambassador to Israel. The 27-year-old runner recently gained […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    Will Laughs Lead to Love on Show About Orthodox Dating?

    To date or not to date? That is not the question for most Modern Orthodox singles in New York. The question is when will they find their future spouses, and when will their families stop nagging them about having babies? Inspired by the success of the Israeli show “Srugim,” Leah Gottfried, 25, decided she would create and star in her own show, “Soon By You.” “Dating is so serious already,” Gottfried said. “We wanted to take a lighter approach and laugh at the […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli Actress Says Playing Muslim Character in ‘Tyrant’ Has Made Her More ‘Hopeful, Humble’

    Israeli actress Moran Atias said that playing a Muslim woman in the hit FX series Tyrant has changed her outlook. “Educating myself about a different culture has made me more hopeful and humble, that we’re all the same,” the Jewish actress, 35, said during an interview with AOL Build. Atias plays Leila Al-Fayeed, the strong and politically minded wife of the president of Abbudin, a fictional Middle Eastern country run by a dictatorial family. The Israeli-born former model, who earned the title of Miss Globe International […]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Identity Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    Jewish Fashionistas From Around the World to Tour ‘Chic Side of Israel’

    A delegation of 35 Jewish fashion industry mavens from around the world will travel to Israel later this month to “discover the chic side” of the country, 5 Town Jewish Times reported. The eight-day tour, organized by the Maryland-based Jewish Women’s Renaissance Project (JWRP) and the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora Affairs, will include visits to key fashion sites and meetings with some of the country’s top fashion designers, merchandisers and marketers. Participants will also attend a JWRP Fashion Week event in Tel Aviv. JWRP said the trip is […]

    Read more →
  • Jewish Identity Sports Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors Honored to Represent Israel at 2016 Olympic Games

    Pro golfer Laetitia Beck said she is honored to have been selected to represent Israel at the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil largely because of her grandparents, who survived the Holocaust. “Everywhere I go, I want people to know where I’m from, my background and where my family came from because of the struggle they had to go through,” she told the Ladies Professional Golf Association (LPGA). “Every week when I play and I see the Israeli flag, it brings me a lot […]

    Read more →