Soldiers of the US Army's 23rd Chemical Batta
Soldiers of the US Army's 23rd Chemical Batta AFP file

The head of the Research Section of Military Intelligence in the IDF, Brig. Gen. Itay Brun, said Tuesday at a conference held by the Institute for National Security Studies that there Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons in Syria recently.

Several people were killed as a result of this, he said.

"To the best of our professional understanding, the regime has made use of deadly chemical weapons against the rebels in a number of incidents in the past few months," he said, referring to a March 19 incident in Aleppo province in which 31 people were killed, apparently by chemical agents.

Evidence could been seen in the physical symptoms suffered by those who had apparently been exposed to chemical agents, he said.

"The reduced pupils, the foam coming out of the mouth and other additional signs provide evidence that deadly chemical weapons have been used," he said, according to a transcript provided by the army.

"Which chemical weapons? Apparently sarin. The regime is also using chemical weapons that neutralize and are not fatal," he said.

"This is a matter that is very, very troublesome," he added. "Recently there has also been widespread use of surface to surface missiles, and Hizbullah is also taking part in this."

"There is a huge arsenal of chemical weapons in Syria," Brig. Gen. Brun said. "The developments are worrisome; the very use of chemical weapons without a suitable response from the world could signal that this is legitimate.

"How will this develop? That is a good question. We need to be very, very worried by the possibility that chemical weapons will reach less responsible elements, who answer to no one."

Regarding Iran, the officer said that it is currently under "unprecedented pressures."

"It is advancing in uranium enrichment, but not in other fields of the nuclear program. The scenario according to which Iran will reach a large deal, in the coming year, with the representatives of the international community, and give up its nuclear weapons ambition, is unlikely."