Report: PM, Abdullah Discussed Syrian Chemical Weapons
A report on Israel Radio Thursday expanded on reports Wednesday night on a recent visit by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with Jordan's King Abdullah II in Amman recently. According to the report, the two discussed violence in Syria and that country's chemical weapons stock.
The report said that Israeli and Jordanian officials had confirmed the meeting, which was first reported in the Al-Quds al-Arabi daily on Wednesday. However, speaking on Israel Radio Thursday, government minister Moshe Yaalon said that he could not confirm the meeting. However, he said, Israel and Jordan had “strategic ties” and conferred on a number of regional issues.
According to the report, Netanyahu and Abdullah discussed the issue in depth, including locations of the sites were weapons were being stored in Syria. Those stocks of chemical and biological weapons remain a primary concern for Syria's neighbors as well as for much of the international community, the report said.
In the interview with Israel Radio, Moshe Yaalon said that the U.S. was preparing to intervene in Syria. A final decision on intervention will come if and when the Syrian army begins using chemical weapons against its own citizens, Yaalon said. The U.S., he said, was aware of everything going on in Syria and was “very concerned” about the implications for the Syrian civil war on the region. Israeli officials were in close touch with American officials about the latest events in the country, he said. He added that neither Israel nor the U.S. were concerned at this point that Syria would use its chemical weapons arsenal against Israel.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime has insisted that he would never use the weapons against his own people, but as violence between the regime and rebels seeking its overthrow rages on, there are fears an embattled leadership could unleash the weapons. The international community also fears the weapons could be transferred to or seized by terror groups.