Israel-U.S. Cooperation Headed Off Syrian Chemical Warfare

YERUSHALAYIM -

High-level cooperation between Israel and the United States headed off Syrian preparations for use of chemical weapons, according to a report on Tuesday in The New York Times.

In late November, consultations of senior Israel military officials with the Pentagon about satellite imagery of activity at a Syrian arsenal led to urgent diplomacy both public and private to prevent chemical warfare.

The images, provided by Israel, showed what appeared to be Syrian troops mixing chemicals — probably the nerve gas sarin — at two storage sites and filling dozens of 500-pound bombs with the deadly material.

This resulted in a “remarkable show of international cooperation” that included a public warning by U.S. President Barack Obama, as well as sharply-worded private messages conveyed to Syrian leaders through Russia, Iraq, Turkey and possibly Jordan.

During recent meetings with visiting U.S. lawmakers, Netanyahu discussed the incident, The Jerusalem Post reported. Netanyahu met with Democratic Florida Senator Bill Nelson on Tuesday, and Kentucky Republican senator Rand Paul on Monday.