Israel Wary Quiet on Syrian Front about to End

(AP) Aron Heller - The Israeli military is preparing for the worst - a power vacuum in Syria in which rogue groups could get their hands on the country's large stockpile of chemical weapons. In many ways, a new era has already begun. The Syrian villages along the border change hands between the military and the rebels in daily battles. Their mortar shells and bullets frequently land on the Israeli side, in some cases narrowly missing soldiers and civilians. Israeli officials say the military's present deployment on the Golan Heights is its most robust since 1973, with a new border fence, 6 meters (20 feet) tall, topped with barbed wire and bristling with sophisticated anti-infiltration devices. "Syria is not a regular is the biggest warehouse for weapons on earth," warned Gal Hirsch, a reserve Israeli brigadier general who is involved in the military's strategic planning and operations. "The fighting in Syria gives [Hizbullah] an opportunity to open a new front against Israel," said Hirsch. "We must be ready for turbulence. We must be ready for Iranian involvement inside Syria. We must be ready to be able to fight against radical fundamentalist activities that will come from Syria, and that is what we are doing."

2013-04-29 00:00:00

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