Daily Israel Report

Oren: Syria Military Action 'Very,Very Complex'

Military action in response to Syria's suspected use of chemical weapons would be "very, very complex," said Israeli ambassador Michael Oren
By Arutz Sheva staff
First Publish: 4/29/2013, 9:43 AM

Michael B. Oren
Michael B. Oren
צילום: פלאש 90

Military action in response to Syria's suspected use of chemical weapons would be "very, very complex," Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, said Sunday.

Oren said air strikes on chemical weapons bases pose a risk of collateral damage to civilians if agent is dispersed, and under international law the attacker would be at fault.

"That's why Israel is not making, urging any action by the United States in Syria, because we understand the complexity of it and we share the concerns of the United States and our neighbors," Oren said on Fox News Sunday.

US intelligence has concluded that Syria has probably used chemical weapons against its own people, but President Barack Obama has pressed for a more definitive judgment.

He had warned Syria that use of chemical weapons in its civil war would be a "game changer.”

Oren said the United States was in high level talks with Israel and other Middle Eastern countries regarding the situation.

"While we can't discuss details we are working out ways we can address this threat," Oren said.

He added that removing the threat posed by Syria's chemical weapons stockpile by military force "is very, very complex."

"Even under international law, if you strike a chemical weapons base and there is collateral damage to civilians it is as if you, the attacker, used chemical weapons," he said.

"And hence we are having this very close high level dialogue with the United States," Oren concluded.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told members of Knesset to refrain from voicing concern over mounting evidence of chemical weapons use in Syria, in an effort to avoid the impression Israel is pushing the international community into armed intervention, Army Radio reported.

Netanyahu gave the instructions after Deputy Foreign Minister Zeev Elkin suggested the international community might react militarily to "take control of the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal".

According to the report. Netanyahu sought to avoid the notion that Elkin's words be seen as an Israeli attempt to push the United States into launching a military operation in Syria.