JERUSALEM – Israel would have to act if the Syrian regime collapses and theres a risk Syrias chemical weapons and missiles could fall into the hands of militant groups, Israels prime minister warned Sunday.
The deteriorating situation of President Bashar Assads regime is stoking Israeli fears that militants affiliated with Lebanons Hezbollah group or al-Qaida could raid Syrian military arsenals for chemicals weapons or missiles that could strike Israel.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel hasnt considered specifically trying to cross the border to seize the weapons. There are other possibilities, he said in an interview on Fox News Sunday.
Over the weekend, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel would be prepared to attack Syrian weapons arsenals should the need arise.
Netanyahu said preventing Syrias weapons from falling into the wrong hands is key to Israeli security.
Could you imagine Hezbollah, the people who are conducting with Iran all these terror attacks around the world – could you imagine them having chemical weapons? It would be like al-Qaida having chemical weapons, he said. Its something that is not acceptable to us, not acceptable to the United States and to any peaceable country in the world.
So I think that this is something well have to act to stop if the need arises. And the need might arise if theres a regime collapse, but not a regime change, he said.
When asked whether Israel was prepared to act alone, Netanyahu said Syrias stockpile was a common concern and that wed have to see if there was a common action to address that concern.
Netanyahu said he believes the fall of the regime is inevitable.