Israel has twice struck chemical weapons facilities in Syria in the past two years in a bid to prevent Damascus from resuming production, the Washington Post reported today.
The report, citing current and former US and Western intelligence officials, was confirmed to Reuters by a person familiar with the matter but asked not to be named or nationalized.
The Israeli armed forces declined to comment.
There is currently no reaction from Damascus. The Syrian government denies using chemical weapons. In 2013 it pledged to hand over its chemical arsenal and claims it did.
Israel has admitted to launching dozens of airstrikes in Syria, which it says targets Iranian soldiers or weapons delivery operations to rebel allies. However, according to the newspaper, on June 8, Israeli fighters hit three military targets near Damascus and Homs. All the targets were linked to Syria’s old chemical weapons program. Last March, Israel targeted a mansion and a complex linked to the supply of a chemical that could be used to make neuroparalytics.
Investigations by the United Nations and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons have concluded that Syrian government forces used sarin gas and barrel chlorine bombs in attacks between 2015 and 18 that killed or injured thousands of people.
Israeli officials have expressed concern about the possibility of Syria’s chemical weapons falling into the hands of terrorist groups.