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Naveh: Assad still controls Syria's chemical weapons
By YAAKOV KATZ
05/22/2012
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.

He revealed that Syria has spent $3 billion in recent years on advanced Russian surface-to-air missile (SAM) 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.
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