More than 50 percent of Israelis will not be in possession of an updated gas mask if war breaks out in the coming six months with Syria as a growing number of defense officials are warning, reported The Jerusalem Post.
The last time Israelis updated their gas masks and emergency kits was prior to the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. The government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, still stinging from its failures in southern Lebanon last summer, is trying to downplay the possibility of a war with Syria, and so has not ordered Israel's Home Front Command to open gas mask distribution centers.
Syria's missile arsenal includes an unknown number of warheads armed with chemical and biological weapons, which experts fear the Arab state could employ if full-scale war does break out.
A senior Syrian government official confirmed in an interview with WorldNetDaily on Monday that his nation is indeed preparing for war with Israel.
If Israel fails to enter into negotiations leading to the surrender of the Golan Heights by September, Syria will initiate low-level cross-border violence, the official said. The expectation is that Israel would launch a severe military response, which would justify Syria's launching of “hundreds of missiles” on Tel Aviv.