As concern grows over Syria's stockpile of chemical weapons, a new report suggests that one country is already figuring out how it intends to bomb them out of existence. Jeffery Goldberg, over at our sister site The Atlantic says that two different intelligence sources have told him that Israel approached Jordan—which shares borders with Israel and Syria—about a possible airstrike on Syrian chemical weapons sites, but that the Jordanians said "the time was not right." The requests were made through informal channels during the last two months.
Israel has attacked Syria in the past without Jordan's stamp of approval—in 2007, they leveled a Syrian nuclear plant without warning—but is still concerned about putting their neighbors in jeopardy. Some of the sites they want to attack are near the border between Jordan and Syria, and Jordan has already become a quiet player in the Syrian civil war. Refugee camps on the Jordanian side of the border would become prime targets for Assad's forces, while many of the Syrian rebels use Jordan as base to regroup and coordinate without outside allies. As a result of that help, and their generally friendly peace with Israel, Jordan has become a target for both pro-Assad and al-Qaeda sympathizers. A recently foiled terror plot planned for the capital city of Amman was organized by al-Qaeda allies who had fought in the Syrian conflict.
Just today, the United States threatened to take action should Syria cross the "red line" and use chemical weapons in its civil war or on its neighbors, why Syria's foreign ministry immediately denied. However, much like the possibility of a nuclear weapon in Iran, the Israelis may not be willing to wait as long as the Americans are before they do something about it. The closer the Assad regime comes to falling, the more dangerous they become and that could mean a war that spreads wider before it comes to an end.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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