Netanyahu Says Syria Must Be Stripped Of Its Chemical Weapons

by
Reuters
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday Syria must be stripped of its chemical weapons and that the international community must make sure those who use weapons of mass destruction pay a price.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday Syria must be stripped of its chemical weapons and that the international community must make sure those who use weapons of mass destruction pay a price.

Speaking at a military ceremony, Netanyahu said Syria had carried out a "crime against humanity" by killing innocent civilians with chemical weapons and that Syria's ally Iran, who is at odds with the West over its nuclear programme, was watching to see how the world acted.

"It must be ensured that the Syrian regime is stripped of its chemical weapons, and the world must make sure that whoever uses weapons of mass destruction pays a price for it," Netanyahu said. "The message that is received in Syria will be received loudly in Iran."

The remarks came after Syria accepted a Russian proposal that it give up its chemical stockpiles in the face of possible U.S. military action.

Israel views the civil war in neighbouring Syria almost entirely through the prism of Iran, which it believes is trying to develop an atomic bomb. Iran denies it wants nuclear weapons and says its nuclear programme is for civilian purposes.

Netanyahu has called on world powers to strengthen sanctions on Iran and has repeatedly said that Tehran would only curb its nuclear activities if it faced a credible military threat.