Following reports that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces have been moving chemical weapons and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warning that the use of these weapons would cross a US red line, The Atlantic reported Monday that the Israeli government has twice come to the Jordanian government over the past two months with a plan to destroy many of Syria's chemical weapons sites.
The American magazine quoted Intelligence officials in two countries as saying Israel has been seeking Jordan's "permission" to bomb these sites, but the Jordanians have so far declined to grant such permission.
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The Atlantic's Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that Israel can attack these sites without Jordan's approval, just as it reportedly attacked the Syrian nuclear reactor in 2007, but an intelligence official told him that Israel is concerned about the possible repercussions of such an attack on Jordan.
"A number of sites are not far from the border," the official was quoted as saying: "The Jordanians have to be very careful about provoking the regime and they assume the Syrians would suspect Jordanian complicity in an Israeli attack."
The official said, "You know the Israelis - sometimes they want to bomb right away. But they were told that from the Jordanian perspective, the time was not right."
Other intelligence officials told The Atlantic that Israeli drones are patrolling the skies over the Jordan-Syria border, and that both American and Israeli drones are keeping watch over suspected Syrian chemical weapons sites.
The sources told the magazine that the Israeli requests were communicated by Mossad intermediaries dispatched by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office.
Clinton said Monday "I'm not going to telegraph in any specifics what we would do in the event of credible evidence that the Assad regime has resorted to using chemical weapons against their own people. But suffice to say we are certainly planning to take action."
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