On Monday, Syria officially confirmed for the first time that it has chemical and biological weapons stockpiles. Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi announced that:
No chemical or biological weapons will ever be used, and I repeat, will never be used, during the crisis in Syria no matter what the developments inside Syria. All of these types of weapons are in storage and under security and the direct supervision of the Syrian armed forces and will never be used unless Syria is exposed to external aggression.
There are reports that Syria is consolidating its unconventional armaments in the south of the country, to avoid the larger conflicts in the north. According to the Israeli Defense Forces Chief of the General Staff Benny Gantz,
To the best of my judgment Assad has control over the stockpiles. They have increased their security around the chemical weapons and to our understanding they have not been moved into undesirable hands. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
If the weapons appear to be on the verge of falling into Hezbollah’s hands, Israel has suggested that it may act. Prime Minister Netanyahu skirted the issue on Sunday, suggesting that, “we hope we don’t have to. We didn’t necessarily consider seizing those weapons. There are other possibilities.” But Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman has stated that, “the moment we see that the Syrians transfer chemical and biological weapons to Hezbollah, this is a red line for us, and from our point of view it’s a clear casus belli.” Thus, the uprising in Syria may possibly spark a new war in the Middle East.