Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak hinted in an interview with Israeli TV that an Israeli attack on Syria might be eminent, according to AP.
“I’ve ordered the Israeli military to prepare for a situation where we would have to weigh the possibility of carrying out an attack,” Barak said, referring to the Syrian chemical arsenal.
Senior Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, echoed on Sunday similar statements, telling Army Radio that while the Syrian regime has a very good grip on its chemical arsenal, Israel still fears it might fall into the hands of Lebanese militant or terrorists affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
The statements come after Israel had officially accused Hezbollah of carrying out a terrorist bombing on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, senior Syrian army defector General Mustafa Sheikh told Reuters that the Syrian regime is moving its “chemical stockpile and redistributing it to prepare for its use”. According to General Sheikh, the regime is preparing for a retaliatory attack against Syrian rebels, in revenge for Wednesday’s attack on the top security officials meeting, which left the Syrian defense minister Dawoud Rajiha, intelligence chief and Al-Assad’s brother-in-law AssefShawkat, as well as the interior minister Hassan Turkmani and national security chief General HishamIkhtiyar dead.
Since the attack, fighting in Syria has taken a new and heavy toll, especially in Aleppo and Damascus, Syria’s biggest cities. A large chunk of the attacks are carried out through helicopter raids by the army’s fourth division, led by Bashar’s brother Maher Al-Assad, who was rumoured to be injured following Wednesday’s attack. Reports of fighting between the security forces and the rebels near the headquarters of an intelligence agency in Aleppo were made on Sunday.
The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has updated its death-toll to 19,106 since the beginning of the uprising in 2011, according to BBC. It put the number of casualties following the Wednesday attack to 302, the highest number of casualties in one day since the beginning of the uprising.
The Arab League is holding an emergency meeting in Doha on Sunday to discuss the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Syria.