Amos Gilad, a senior Israeli defense official, said on Saturday that Syrian President Bashar Assad retains control of Syria's reputed chemical weapons and they are not sought by his Hezbollah guerrilla allies in neighboring Lebanon.
Gilad spoke after another Israeli official disclosed that Israel had sent warplanes on Friday to attack a Hezbollah-bound missile shipment in Syria, where Assad is battling a two-year insurgency, and disavowed the confirmation, refusing to comment.
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"I don’t know what or who confirmed what. Who are these sources? In my book only the IDF Spokesperson's Unit is official," Gilad said.
"Syria has large amounts of chemical weaponry and missiles. Everything there is under (Assad's government) control," Gilad said.
"Hezbollah does not have chemical weapons. We have ways of knowing. They are not keen to take weaponry like this, preferring systems that can cover all of the country (Israel)," he said.
He was apparently referring to Hezbollah's conventional surface-to-surface missiles, which are estimated to number 60,000.
One US official said the target of Friday's attack was a shipment of advanced, long-range, ground-to-ground missiles intended for Hezbollah, but did not offer any other details.
"Chemical weapons kill those who use them," Gilad added.
Assad's government has hedged on whether it has chemical weapons while saying it would not use such arms against Syrians.
The matter has been subject to intensive international scrutiny since Israel and the United States last month published findings indicating Assad forces had used chemical weapons during the insurgency.
Reuters contributed to this report
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