Syria: `Terrorists may get stockpile of nerve gas`

Middle Eastern and other intelligence sources say Syria has the biggest stockpiles of the nerve gasses in the Middle East.

Damascus: Israel has raised concerns that hundreds of tonnes of Syria`s stockpile of deadly nerve gas could fall into the hands of terrorist groups if the regime of Bashar al-Assad falls apart, according to a report.

According to Middle Eastern and other intelligence sources, Syria has the biggest stockpiles of the nerve gasses - VX and Sarin as well as mustard gas - in the Middle East

Al Qaeda-related groups are known to be operating inside Syria, and its leadership has frequently extolled members or followers to try to get hold of chemical weapons.

According to Sky News, the deadly chemical weapons have been successfully ``weaponised``.

This means that conventional artillery and missile warheads have been fitted with delivery systems for VX gas.

The report pointed out that Syria has backed the Lebanese Islamist movement Hezbollah for decades.

In 2006, Israel launched a bloody invasion of Lebanon in response to Hezbollah rocket attacks.

Intelligence sources now believe that they conservatively estimate that Hezbollah has a stockpile of over 40,000 new missiles.

According to the report, Israel is deeply concerned that Assad may deliberately give Hezbollah chemical weapons - or that they could end up in the hands of other terror groups.

In either case, this could lead to a regional war, Danny Yatom, the former head of Mossad, warned.

“The conventional wisdom should be that we cannot exclude a non-conventional attack on Israel. We would have to pre-empt in order to prevent it,” Yatom, as saying.

“We need to be prepared to launch even military attacks... and military attacks mean maybe a deterioration to war,” he added.