A chemical attack may be launched on Israel by Syrian rebels from government-controlled territories as a "major provocation", a number of sources have told RT.
The news comes as Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov proposed that Syria puts its chemical weapons arsenal under international control for subsequent destruction in order to prevent a possible military strike against the war-torn republic.
Moscow also urged the Syrian authorities to join the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. The offer has already been passed over to the Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem, who met Lavrov in Moscow for talks on Monday.
“We don’t know if Syria will accept the offer, but if imposing international control over chemical weapons stored in the country can help to avoid military strikes, we are immediately going to start working with Damascus,” Lavrov said.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry has welcomed Moscow’s initiative, “based on the Syrian’s government care about the lives of our people and security of our country,” Muallem said later on Monday.
Shortly after RT’s report, US National Security Adviser Susan Rice also spoke about the possible threat to Israel from the Syrian territory. “The use of chemical weapons also directly threatens our closest ally in the region, Israel,” she said speaking at the New America Foundation in Washington.
A few hours earlier, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that to avoid a military operation Syrian President Bashar Assad has a week to surrender control of “every single bit” of his stock of chemical weapons to the international community. “But he isn't about to do it and it can't be done,” he added, speaking at a media conference in London, as he was wrapping up his European tour in a move to win support for the Obama-proposed “limited” strike against Syria.
The US Administration has blamed the Syrian government for the alleged chemical weapons use in the Damascus suburbs on August 21. Washington has maintained it has the intelligence to prove it, but has so far refused to make public a single piece of concrete evidence that would link the Assad regime to the deadly incident.
On Sunday, the Senate Select Intelligence Committee released a series of 13 videos showing what is purported to be proof of the use of chemical weapons in Syria. The disturbing images of the victims of the alleged attack were earlier shown during a closed-door briefing to a group of senators, as Obama is trying to get authorization from Congress for the military strike on Syria. The administration told senators that the authenticity of the videos was verified by the intelligence community, reported CNN, which first aired the graphic material.
The videos depict scenes of convulsing children, men vomiting and struggling to breathe and, also what appeared to be dozens of dead bodies wrapped up in white sheets, lying side by side. But they still do not provide an answer to the question of who was behind the attack. The Syrian government and the opposition forces point the finger of blame at each other.
It also remains unclear as to why exactly President Assad would order a chemical attack at a time when a group of UN experts were carrying out an investigation in the country.
There is proof the footage of the alleged chemical attack in Syria was fabricated, Mother Agnes Mariam el-Salib, mother superior of the St. James Monastery in Qara, Syria, told RT. She added that she plans to submit her findings to the UN.