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Israel official: Syria protecting chemical arsenal
Israel: Syria protecting chemical arsenal as Israeli military weighs possible attack
By The Associated Press

JERUSALEM (AP) A senior Israeli defense official says Syria remains in control of its chemical weapons arsenals, even as the Israeli military considers a possible attack meant to prevent those arms and advanced Syrian missiles from falling into militant hands.

Defense official Amos Gilad says Israel is afraid Syria's large chemical stocks could be seized by Lebanese militants, Al-Qaida-affiliated radicals or other unspecified "irresponsible elements" operating in Syria.

Gilad told Army Radio on Sunday, "Right now, they (the Syrians) are protecting these arsenals as best as they can."

But over the weekend, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in a television interview, "I've ordered the Israeli military to prepare for a situation where we would have to weigh the possibility of carrying out an attack" against Syrian weapons arsenals.

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