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The United States promised it, Israel did it – Israel.net

Two attacks on Syrian chemical weapons factories attributed to Israel are a vital step in self-defense, but also a clear message outside Syria

in Yoav Limor

Yoav Limor, author of this article

The attacks attributed to Israel on secret facilities where the Syrian regime intended to revive its production of chemical weapons had three objectives. The first is to prevent Syria from getting its hands on unconventional weaponsEven if they are only in the early stages of development. The second is to make it clear to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that Israel will not allow Syria to return and threaten it with weapons of mass destruction. Third, sending a message to other countries, foremost of which is Iran, that Israel is ready to carry out similar operations against anyone who develops weapons that threaten its existence.

last Monday Washington Post He revealed that two air strikes attributed to Israel targeted sites where Syria was developing chemical weapons. The first attack occurred on March 5, 2020, against a building outside the city of Homs, when it was discovered that Syria had obtained a large amount of tri-calcium phosphate, which can be used to make nerve agents. The second attack took place on June 8 of this year, targeting a hideout in the city of Nasiriyah, north of Damascus, and two other locations near Homs. Seven Syrian soldiers were reportedly killed in these attacks, including General Ayham Ismail, a senior ESRB official, and Center for Scientific Studies and Research that develop chemical weapons in the country.

2017: Syrian victims of chemical attacks by the Assad regime

Syria had a huge arsenal of chemical weapons, mostly deadly nerve agents. The Assad regime has used chemical weapons against its internal opposition in dozens of cases, but was forced to change course when more than 1,400 Syrian citizens were killed in an attack on Damascus in August 2013. After the United States threatened to attack Syria in response to the massacre, Assad agreed to give up his arsenal of Chemical weapons, and the Americans and Russians reached an agreement under which more than 1,300 tons of chemical weapons will be removed from Syria and destroyed.

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But Assad, despite his promise, continued to use other types of chemical weapons against his opponents, especially chlorine gas. Israel warned that the fact that the world would allow it to do so would eventually lead to the Syrian regime resuming production of more advanced chemical weapons, as it regularly does. Apparently, unlike in the past, Israel decided not to wait for Syria to acquire a large stockpile of chemical weapons, and instead eliminate them in the early stages. But the fact that Syria continued its efforts to develop these weapons even after it was attacked for the first time shows that Assad, despite the pretty face he is trying to show the world, continues to seek the means of mass destruction.

August 2013: United Nations experts with samples from the site of a chemical weapons attack in the Ain Tarma area of ​​Damascus

reportage Washington Post It does not explain the US response to the attacks and, more importantly, why the US did not attack because it had explicitly promised that it would not allow Syria to acquire chemical weapons of any kind. Israel may have hit them simply by carrying out its attacks as part of the operations it is said to be carrying out regularly in Syria (although in this case the targets were not Iranian or Iranian, but rather Syrian). It is also possible that the Americans simply refused to resort to military force: both the Trump administration, which was in power at the time of the first attack, and the Biden administration, which was in power during the second attack.

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Be that as it may, while refraining from attacking the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons production facilities, the Americans once again lost the opportunity to send a clear message to the Middle East and the world at large. Instead, Israel, for its part, has maintained (again) faith in its principles and even expanded the so-called Begin Doctrine, which consists in not allowing any country in the region to possess chemical or nuclear military capabilities.

Apparently, that’s exactly what was behind the report that was published on Monday. The information appeared on Washington Post It was not attributed to Israeli officials, but the method and timing of the publication suggests that someone wanted people to know about these attacks now, while the Iranian nuclear negotiations are underway, to ensure that the news resonated outside Syria, especially in Lebanon (where Hezbollah was installed) and Tehran.

(Da: Yisrael Hayom, December 14, 21).

Earl Warner

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