- (Photo: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed)
A senior Israeli military intelligence analyst revealed Tuesday that the Syrian government, led by President Bashar al-Assad, had deployed chemical weapons on the Syrian people several times in recent weeks.
"The regime has increasingly used chemical weapons," said Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, research commander in the intelligence directorate of the Israeli Defense Forces, in a statement.
"The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction … is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate," he added.
The move could potentially have further implications as President Obama had previously stated that should Syrian government forces use chemical weapons the United States as well as NATO forces would intervene.
"We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat," Reuters quoted Secretary of State John Kerry as saying.
In press briefings held on Tuesday, the Israelis revealed they had intelligence to suspect that chemical attacks were carried out on March 19 in Damascus and Aleppo that involved the use of sarin gas, a nerve agent.
The Syrian attacks killed were thought to have killed several dozen individuals and were thought to be a measure to gauge the reaction of the international community by the Syrian government.
The situation in Syria is also having harsh implications for the country's religious minorities.
Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, The World Evangelical Alliance's human rights ambassador, detailed the seriousness of the situation in the country.
"I know that many people in Syria are suffering, but Christians are seeing a repetition of the situation in Iraq, that they are largely wiped out between the opposing fronts, and once their survivors are driven out, they seldom have the opportunity to return," he said.
Of the previous 60,000 Christians in Homs, one of the areas worst affected by the Syrian conflict, less than 1,000 remain.
The WEA warns that churches are being destroyed and Christians are being killed, tortured, used as human shields, and raped.