National Post | News

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel could launch a pre-emptive strike to stop Syria’s chemical weapons from reaching Lebanon’s Hezbollah or al-Qaida inspired groups, officials said Sunday.

The warning came as the military moved a rocket defense system to a main northern city, and Israel’s premier warned of dangers from both Syria and Iran.

Israel has long expressed concerns that Syrian President Bashar Assad, clinging to power during a 22-month civil war, could lose control over his chemical weapons.

Vice Prime Minister Silvan Shalom said Sunday that Israel’s top security officials held a special meeting last week to discuss Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal. The fact of the meeting, held the morning after a national election, had not been made public before.

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Shalom told the Army Radio station that the transfer of weapons to violent groups, particularly the Iranian-backed Lebanese Hezbollah, would be a game changer.

“It would be crossing a…

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