Syrian forces on Wednesday fired artillery and rocket barrages at the northern Damascus suburb of al-Tel in an attempt to seize the town from rebels, causing mass panic and forcing hundreds of families to flee the area, residents and opposition activists said.
The 216th mechanized battalion headquartered near Tel started bombarding the town of about 100,000 people at 3:15 a.m. (0015 GMT) at the rate of one projectile every minute, and initial reports indicated that residential apartment blocks were being hit, they said.
Israel could face a large-scale conflict in the aftermath of an attack against Syria’s chemical weapons, Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz said Tuesday, while stressing that the weapons were still under President Bashar Assad’s control.
Speaking to the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Gantz said that the dilemma for Israel was identifying the correct moment to take action, if needed, to destroy the chemical weapons and prevent them from falling into the hands of terrorist groups like Hezbollah.
A sarin gas chemical warhead for the US Honest John rocket. It was designed to break apart and disperse the spherical bomblets of nerve agent. (photo credit: Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)
Syria is moving chemical weapons to “airports” on its borders, the Free Syrian Army claimed on Tuesday, a day after Syria acknowledged for the first time that it maintains an arsenal of chemical weaponry.
“We in the joint command of the Free Syrian Army inside the country know very well the locations and positions of these weapons,” a statement from the FSA said.
“We also reveal that Assad has transferred some of these weapons and equipment for mixing chemical components to airports on the border.”
“According to our information, the regime began moving its stocks of weapons of mass destruction several months ago … with the goal of putting pressure on the region and the international community,” the FSA said.
Tea party Republican Joe Walsh has begun obtaining signatures for a new initiative to have Congress recognize the Levy report, which concludes that Israel is not occupying Judea and Samaria • MK Danny Danon in Washington last week: Support for report will resolve obstacles in the way of settlement enterprise.
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