The Israeli intelligence community has determined that Iran was testing a range of chemical weapons in Syria amid the war against President Bashar Assad. Officials said the tests included those of CW warheads on artillery shells fired toward Sunni rebel strongholds in August.
“In fact, Assad’s regime has become a full Iranian client and Syria has become Iran’s testing ground,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “Now the whole world is watching. Iran is watching and it wants to see what would be the reaction on the use of chemical weapons.”
During a meeting with visiting French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Aug. 25, Netanyahu was said to have voiced the intelligence assessment that the CW shells fired toward rebel strongholds around Damascus on Aug. 21 marked an attack by Assad’s military. The prime minister said Iran and Hizbullah, which have a CW arsenal, sought to test the international reaction to a major non-conventional weapons attack.
“What is happening in Syria, simply demonstrates what will happen if Iran gets even deadlier weapons,” Netanyahu said.
“What we see in Syria is how extremist regimes have no reservations whatsoever about using these weapons even when they use it against innocent civilians, against their own people,” Netanyahu said.
“From Israel’s point-of-view, the challenge will be to remain outside the picture,” Israeli defense analyst Yoav Limor said. “The natural concern is that with its back to the wall, Syria — or Hizbullah and Iran — would be liable to direct their fire at us as well in order to complicate things or unite the Arab world against us.”
Full article: Israeli intelligence: Iran testing chemical weapons in Syria (World Tribune)