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Expert: Hizbullah has Chemical Weapons, is Afraid to Use Them

Syria’s chemical weapons could become a world problem, INSS expert warns. Rebels, not Hizbullah, the biggest threat.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/5/2013, 8:39 AM

Chemical war drill
Chemical war drill
IDF Spokesman's Unit

If Syria’s chemical weapons fall into the wrong hands, the world may begin to experience terrorist attacks using chemical weapons, researcher Yiftah Shapir of the Institute for National Security Studies warned in an interview with Arutz Sheva.

Perhaps surprisingly, Shapir said that Hizbullah is not the biggest threat.

Hizbullah already is in possession of most of the chemical weapons and other unconventional means of attack that it could get from Syria, he explained. While there have been reports of some such weapons reaching the group in light of Syria’s internal conflict, the new weapons do not change the terrorist group’s capabilities, he said.

Hizbullah cannot use its current supply of chemical weapons for two reasons, he explained: first of all, the group lacks a delivery system, and secondly, it fears the international backlash that would follow use of unconventional weapons.

Syria may transfer chemical weapons to Hizbullah not for use in attacks, but rather for safekeeping, he noted. Hizbullah would then return the weapons if Syrian President Bashar Assad regains control of the country.

One scenario that would pose a real threat would be if Hizbullah got SA-17 missiles, Shapir stated. The missiles would allow Hizbullah to target Israeli planes, which would severely impact Israel’s tactical edge.

According to some reports, an Israeli airstrike in Syria in January targeted a shipment of SA-17 missiles headed for Lebanon.

The biggest threat is the possibility that Syria’s chemical weapons will fall into the hands of rebel fighters, Shapir warned.

Rebels would be unable to use the weapons because they lack airplanes or other means of delivery, he said. Instead, many rebels would seek to sell the weapons to terrorist groups, and would trade with whoever offered the highest price. In such a scenario the world would soon see chemical terrorism hitting various parts of the world.

Shapir said it is not clear what the current situation is in Syria. “Since the crisis began, whoever says he knows what is happening in Syria is lying,” he declared. Even the Syrian regime is not sure what is happening, he added.