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January 29, 2013 12:38 pm

IAF Chief Warns Israel Must Be Proactive In Syria as Reports Surface that Hezbollah May Already Have Acquired Chemical Weapons

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Major Gen. Amir Eshel. Photo: Wikipedia

Israel’s Air Force Chief Maj.-Gen. Amir Eshel warned Tuesday that the country must be proactive in its efforts to combat the spread of chemical weapons as the situation in Syria becomes increasingly volatile.

Amid reports in Lebanese media that Hezbollah has already acquired some chemical weapons and long range missiles, as well as gained access to bases harboring chemical weapons inside Syria, Eshel, speaking at the Ilan Ramon Space Conference in Herzliya, said, “We cannot wait for war to break out. We have to invest in developing new (surveillance) resources… especially space, which has become a strategic sphere for us. We can’t wake up when war breaks out – we can’t be ill-prepared.”

Eshel added, “Syria is undergoing tectonic changes. Given its massive arsenals, Israel may find itself dealing with nonconventional weapons on its borders.”

And continued: “The volatile situation is Syria may force Israel to deal with Western, Eastern and locally-produced weapons, including surface-to-surface missiles, drones, cruise missiles and unconventional weapons. The point of origin for most of them is almost always Iran.”

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Eshel warned of the threat not only from Syria but from the region as whole.”Our region is going through dramatic changes. Governments rise and fall and terror groups are using the vacuum to bolster their operation on our border in a manner we haven’t seen in years,” he said.

Furthermore Eshel said,”We have to deal with a broad spectrum of threats – from the conventional to the unconventional, ranging from knives to nuclear weapons – near and far.”

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