Intelligence chief: Assad ready to use chemical weapons

Israel’s military intelligence chief on Thursday said Syria’s embattled president, Bashar Assad, is preparing to use chemical weapons.

Maj. Gen. Aviv Kochavi told a security conference in the coastal town of Herzliya that Assad is stepping up his offensive against rebels trying to oust him.

He claimed Assad is making advanced preparations to use chemical weapons, but has not yet given the order to deploy them. He did not disclose information about why he thinks Assad is preparing to use them.

Kochavi said that across the region, a lack of water, a rising demand for energy and an increasing difficulty in providing food for civilians, coupled with rising religious extremism and the overthrow of the long-enduring dictatorships, have thrown the region into profound tumult, creating “a completely different Middle East.”

The four primary Muslim powers in the region — Turkey, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia — are all governed by religious rule, and Israel, “for the first time in decades,” faces strife on four of its borders — Syria, Lebanon, Sinai and Gaza.

Full article: Intelligence chief: Assad ready to use chemical weapons (The Jerusalem Post)

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