Israel to Seek U.S. Pledge on Syrian WMDs

YERUSHALAYIM -

Syria will be high on the agenda during President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel, as the Israelis will be seeking assurances that in the event Syrian missiles are spotted being transferred to Hizbullah, Obama will order American air strikes to interdict them, according to a report in the British newspaper Guardian late Sunday.

In the event the U.S. is unwilling to enter into military operations against Syria itself, Israel will want support for Israeli strikes to prevent a weapons transfer.

It quoted an Israeli official as saying, “Maybe it would be better if Israel doesn’t do it, but who is going to deal with it? These missiles are not just a problem for Israel. They include [anti-ship] missiles, and who has the biggest navy in the Mediterranean?” the official added, referring to the United States.

The Guardian reported that the U.S. is unlikely to be willing to attack Syria unless a transfer of chemical weapons was involved.

The Guardian also said that Israel planned to lobby for American support for more pre-emptive strikes even if it were to risk igniting a war with Hizbullah in Lebanon.

“What I hear over and over again from Israeli generals is that another war with Hizbullah is inevitable,” a western diplomat was quoted by the Guardian as saying.

According to officials close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu quoted by the Guardian, the prime minister believes it more likely that he will enlist U.S. support on the Syrian front than for military action against Iran.