JERUSALEM -- Amid reports that Israeli warplanes struck a weapons cache in Syria this week, a senior Israel defense ministry official said Saturday his nation was closely monitoring unrest in its neighbor but remained confident that Syria’s chemical weapons have not fallen into the hands of militants in Lebanon.
Maj. Gen. Amos Gilad, director of the ministry's policy and political affairs, also questioned media reports quoting an anonymous Israeli official as confirming the country’s involvement in the military strike, which is believed to have taken place early Friday.
Officially, government and military officials in Israel declined to comment Saturday on reports that Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon had struck a target in nearby Syria. The news agency Reuters, however, quoted an unnamed Israeli official as saying the attack was aimed at destroying a shipment of conventional ground-to-ground missiles bound for Lebanon.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that Israel would take military action to prevent Syria’s chemical weapons and other dangerous munitions from falling into the hands of militants such as the Lebanon-based group Hezbollah.