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Netanyahu and Jordan's King Discussed Syria's Chemicals

Reports indicate Prime Minister Netanyahu recently met Jordan's King Abdullah to discuss Assad's chemical weapons.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 12/27/2012, 12:14 AM

Netanyahu and King Abdullah (archive)
Netanyahu and King Abdullah (archive)
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently made a secret trip to Amman, where he met with Jordan's King Abdullah, the British-based Al-Quds Al-Arabi Arabic newspaper reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, Netanyahu and King Abdullah discussed their mutual concern over use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad.

On Wednesday evening, senior Israeli officials confirmed to Kol Yisrael radio that Netanyahu recently visited Amman and met with King Abdullah. However, no details were disclosed about what the two had discussed.

The United States and its allies, including Israel, have repeatedly expressed concern that Syria's stockpile, believed to be one of the biggest in the world, could be stolen and fall into extremist hands or be transferred to the Hizbullah terror group by a crumbling Syrian regime.

Recent reports indicated that Israel has consulted with Jordan twice over the issue of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal, both times with plans to take out multiple sites. 

Intelligence officials in two countries told The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg that "Israel has been seeking Jordan's 'permission' to bomb these sites, but the Jordanians have so far declined" to agree.

At this week's Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said that Israel's defense establishment is continuing to monitor events in Syria, “where there are dramatic developments almost daily.”

Israel, he said, is cooperating with the United States and the rest of the international community on making preparations for the possibility that Assad may fall. The prospect includes the possibility that Syria's chemical weapons arsenal could be transferred to terrorist control, be used against rebel forces, or in a completely different scenario, be fired in an attack on Syria's neighbors, including Israel.

"We... are taking the necessary measures to prepare ourselves for the possibility of far-reaching changes in the regime, with implications for the sensitive weapons systems there,” Netanyahu said.

Reports of the use of chemical weapons by Assad's troops against the rebels have become more frequent recently.

Al Jazeera reported on Monday that Assad had dropped bombs containing toxic gases, killing six people and blinding others in Homs. Opposition forces released a video showing a victim struggling to breathe after the attack.

Doctors have said that Assad’s forces are probably also using “Agent 15,” which causes paralysis.