By Mick Krever, CNN
Former Israeli intelligence chief General Amos Yadlin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday that the world can rest assured that any American claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons are accurate.
“The American intelligence community is very, very careful after Iraq, 2003. And I know personally most of them. I know personally General Clapper, with the DNI,” Yadlin said from Jerusalem. “When I hear the determination of Secretary Kerry, I know that the intelligence is very solid. When he says that Assad has done it, I think that the American public and the international community should trust that this is a very reliable intelligence.”
Before the alleged chemical attack outside Damascus last week, Israeli intelligence overheard Syrian military commanders discussing moving chemical weapons to the area of the attack, CNN learned from diplomatic sources. That intelligence was shared with the United States.
“I am sure the Israeli input was very significant,” General Yadlin said of the U.S. intelligence assessment on Syria.
If the intelligence does lead the United States and its allies to strike Syria, Israel – as its neighbor – will likely be on edge.
“If the attack on Syria will be limited, focussed, and a punishment attack, and not an attack to overthrow Assad, the chances that he will choose [to] attack on Israel are quite low – even though we have to be prepared,” General Yadlin said. “We have to be prepared because this dictator already proved that he not always play[s] according to a rationale that we exercise.”