The IDF, the Turkish and Jordanian armies and US Middle East forces have switched to preparedness mode in the last few hours in case the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal starts moving west toward Lebanon, debkafile’s military sources report. Acting in unison, those armies are on the ready for instantaneous action because it would take no more than two hours to cover the distance from Syria to the Hizballah-controlled Bakaa Valley of east Lebanon. Their arrival there, unless thwarted, would mean a war on Hizballah.
Therefore Israeli and US military chiefs prefer to stop the arsenal in its tracks before it moves across the border. This would call for surgically precise, rapid action against a target going to extreme lengths to stay concealed.
In the view of a senior US military source quoted by debkafile, the risk is solid but it comes from a different direction. He stressed that “President Assad has not decided to hand over his chemical weapons to Hizballah, nor has Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah decided to accept them.”
This background accounts for the words used by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak Sunday, July 22, to make their intentions clear:
“Israel would have to act if the Syrian regime collapsed without changing and if there’s a risk Syria’s chemical weapons and missiles could fall into the hands of military groups,” such as Hizballah or al Qaeda, Netanyahu said.
Two hours for Syrian chemical weapons to reach Lebanon. Four armies prepared