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The Battle for Syria

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Syrian Rebels Claim Assad has Already Used Chemical Weapons

December 10th 2012

Syrian Chemical Weapons

Syrian rebels uploaded a video to YouTube on Saturday which they claim shows victims of a chemical weapons attack by the Assad regime, the Times of Israel reports. The use of chemical weapons has not been confirmed, but Syria has long been known to harbor an arsenal of such weapons, and rumors have been flying that Assad might well employ them should his situation prove desperate. Recent weeks have seen major gains by the rebel forces, which have succeeded in unifying their various factions and undertaking attacks within the capital of Damascus. Many observers believe the Assad regime's days are numbered.

At the same time, however, the United States and Israel, as well as other nations, have made it clear that they will not tolerate the deployment of chemical weapons by Syria. The U.S. has hinted at possible military intervention in order to prevent it.

If Syria has indeed used chemical weapons, it would present Israel with a major dilemma. While it has no desire to involve itself in the hornet's nest of the Syrian civil war, Israel cannot afford to allow such weapons to be freely employed. Violence from the civil war has already spilled over Israel's border several time, with minimal casualties; but the possibility of a chemical weapons attack doing so is a threat that is orders of magnitude worse than a conventional threat. Israel would likely have no choice but to act in order to prevent such a possibility.


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