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August 22, 2013 10:00 am

Israeli Officials Say Chemical Weapons Used in Syria

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Azaz, Syria, during the Syrian civil war. Photo: Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons. Israeli officials corroborated the Syrian opposition’s claim that President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons on civilians in a Wednesday attack in eastern neighborhoods of Damascus that killed more than 1,300 people.

The Assad regime “has already used chemical weapons several times” during the Syrian civil war, said Israel Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon, Israel Hayom reported.

“The death toll in Syria has now crossed the 100,000 mark. This is a struggle for life and death and there is no end in sight,” Ya’alon said.

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Minister of International, Intelligence and Strategic Affairs Yuval Steinitz told Israel Radio Thursday that the international community has “failed to take any significant action to stop Assad from butchering his people.” Member of Knesset Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor) echoed that sentiment on Israel Radio, saying, “Assad is guilty of genocide and the world—which is so quick to denounce us over every little thing—stands idly by, doing nothing.”

The Syrian opposition believes Assad’s regime on Wednesday used sarin gas, which was developed in 1938 in Nazi Germany by two scientists who were searching for an especially potent insecticide, and was classified as a weapon of mass destruction by U.N. Resolution 687 of 1991. The United Nations Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993, which was signed by 162 countries, banned the production and stockpiling of sarin. The use of nerve agents against civilian population is considered a war crime.

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