The regime of Syrian dictator Bashar Assad is using chemical weapons, Brig.-Gen.
Itai Baron, head of the Research Division at Military Intelligence, stated on
Speaking at a conference held by the Institute for National
Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Baron said that Assad has access to an enormous
arsenal of chemical weapons, and that some of those deadly arms have already
been put to use, including the probable use of poisonous Sarin gas.
believe the regime has, and is using chemical weapons,” Baron said.
expressed concern over the fact that the international community has failed to
respond appropriately to the highly worrying development. Israel is very
disturbed by the prospects of chemical weapons reaching other actors in Syria
“which do not weigh up considerations of profit and loss,” Baron
But the United States has not reached the same conclusion, senior
American officials made clear in response.
US Secretary of State John
Kerry went one step further, saying that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
himself could not confirm the comments of Baron.
“I talked to Prime
Minister Netanyahu this morning,” Kerry told a news conference at NATO
headquarters in Brussels. “I think it is fair for me to say that he was not in a
position to confirm that in the conversation that I had. I don’t know yet what
the facts are.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on
Tuesday that the United States had not concluded that chemical weapons had been
used and said it is difficult to determine when such weapons are used. He said
the US remains concerned about reports that these weapons had been utilized and
that Washington is skeptical of reports that the Syrian opposition had used
Obama has made clear that the use of chemical weapons or
transmission of them to “non-state actors” is unacceptable.
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.
Jerusalem Post Annual Conference. Buy it now, Special offer. Come meet Israel's top leaders