Netanyahu Mulls Possible Military Strike on Syria

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel would consider responding militarily to prevent Syria's chemical and biological weapons cache from falling into terrorist hands.

Syria is reputed to have one of the world's largest stockpiles of nonconventional weapons.

"Israel will do everything it takes to ensure that Syria's chemical weapons do not fall into the hands of terrorist organizations," Netanyahu told European ambassadors during their visit to Jerusalem this week. "And if such a situation arises, then Israel will weigh a military option."

Netanyahu said Israel is aware that Iran and its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, have been fighting alongside Syrian President Bashar Assad's troops, if anything heightening the threat of a chemical or biological attack. 

The prime minister said Israel appreciates the added sanctions against Iran announced by the E.U. earlier this week. But he doesn't believe they'll deter its development of nuclear weapons. That, he said, would take a viable military option.

Netanyahu also told the diplomats Israel hopes the new Egyptian government would not compromise the 1979 peace treaty and would sincerely work to address the growing terrorist threat against Israel emanating from jihadist groups in the Sinai.

The prime minister also touched on Israel's strained relations with Turkey, telling the ambassadors any assistance they could provide would be welcome and would benefit both countries.


YNet contributed to this report.

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