Barak with commanders
Barak with commandersIsrael news photo: Flash 90

Defense Minister Ehud Barak issued a calming statement after Home Front Commander Major General Eyal Eisenberg warned of possible use of weapons of mass destruction in the region's next war.

During a tour of Northern Command Tuesday, Barak said, "There have been voices in the last 24 hours about the possibility of a general conflagration in the Middle East. I want to tell all of you – we do not see a reason for any one of our rivals to initiate a general, wide-scale war against Israel in these days. I am convinced that our enemies would not dare use chemical weapons against Israel, to the extent that they possess them, either now or in the future.

"They know full well why they should not even think of using chemical weapons against Israel."

Regarding the recent tensions with Turkey, Barak said. "Israel and Turkey are the two strongest countries, and in many ways the most important ones, in the Middle East today. We have disputes, and in disputes, too, it is very important for both sides to act based on what their heads – and not their guts – tell them.

"It would be best for all of us, and for stability in the region, to improve things," he said, referring to relations between the two countries.  

Speaking in the Golan Heights, Barak said that on the other side of the border, in Syria, the Assad family is "massacring its people" in order to survive. "I estimate that this will not help. The fate of the Assad regime and the Assad family is sealed, even if it takes a few more months."
"Even if a new situation arises, which is difficult to assess beforehand, I hope that it will be a quiet situation. Without a doubt, the demise of this regime, when it occurs, will be a very severe blow for the entire radical front, with Iran and Hizbullah at its center."