Naveh: Assad still controls chemical weapons

Deputy IDF chief says Syria's surface-to-air missile capabilities growing, could be transferred to Hezbollah.

May 22, 2012 10:20
1 minute read.
Chemical WMDs (illustrative)

weapons of mass destruction 311 R. (photo credit: Reuters)

Despite the ongoing upheaval in Syria, President Bashar Assad is still in control of Syria’s advanced weaponry, including its chemical weapons arsenal, Deputy IDF Chief of Staff Maj.-Gen. Yair Naveh said on Tuesday.

“The missile, rocket and chemical capabilities are remarkably still under control by the current regime,” Naveh said at the 2012 Conference on Air and Land Jointness in Zichron Ya’acov.

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He revealed that Syria has spent $3 billion in recent years on advanced Russian surface-to-air missile systems such as the SA-15, SA-17 and SA-22.

“These have already been transferred to the Syrians and may one day be transferred from Syria to Hezbollah,” Naveh said. “The existence of these systems creates a reality in which the Israel Air Force will need several hours to first deal with the air defense systems before turning to other missions.”

The proliferation of these system needs to concern not just Israel, but also the entire world, Naveh said.

Hezbollah has today 60,000 rockets and missiles, he said, including a number of M600s that have superior range and a high level of accuracy.

Naveh also warned of the growing threat of GPS jammers throughout the region, which could undermine the IDF’s ability to accurately hit targets inside Lebanon, Gaza or Syria in a future war.

“The IDF is investing in accurate firepower from the air and precise munitions from the ground,” he said. “We will need tens of thousands of precision guided munitions and will need to overcome GPS jamming.”

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