Israel is preparing for a possible military intervention in Syria in case the Syrian government hands missiles or chemical weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said on Friday.
"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," Barak said in an interview on Channel 10 television.
"We are following ... the possible transfer of advanced munitions systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," he added.
"The moment (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) starts to fall we will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other agencies," Barak said.
Syrian General Fahd al-Freij (R) meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus following his swearing in ceremony as the new defence minister. Assad appointed Freij as the country's new defence minister on July 18, 2012.
Pentagon officials are talking with their Israeli counterparts to get a sense of what Israel's potential intentions are regarding Syria's chemical weapons, and with others in the Middle East regarding scenarios that could involve those weapons.
With the Syrian regime having moved chemical weapons at least once in recent days, and no clear sense of Syrian intentions, the U.S. military also has accelerated a series of classified discussions with Jordan, Turkey, the United Kingdom and France.
These talks involve not just the Syrian unrest, but also the potential human and political disaster if al-Assad were to use chemical weapons or the stockpiles were to fall into terrorist or opposition hands because the regime cannot keep them secure, CNN has learned.
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