An IDF soldier stands guard at an army post near the border with Syria, on February 3, 2016. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90) (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)
Israel Syria border

The possession of chemical weapons by ISIS in close proximity to Israel would be perceived as crossing a “red line.” Israel would take immediate action to destroy the threat.

Israel will take immediate action against ISIS if the terror organization achieves an operational capability with chemical weapons, a senior military official told Channel 10 Wednesday evening, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel is currently investigating the possibility that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade, an Islamic State (ISIS)-affiliated group fighting in Syria’s civil war in the southern Golan Heights region, possesses chemical weapons.

Several reports indicate that ISIS has used them in Syria on a number of occasions.

If any terrorist organization in proximity to the Jewish state were to acquire a non-conventional weapon, whether it be Hezbollah, ISIS or Hamas, it would be perceived as crossing a “red line,” the military official said, according to the Post.

“If we see Islamic State approach an experimental or operational capability with chemical weapons, Israel will not stand by and watch. We will take appropriate action in order to thwart such activities,” he stated.

ISIS northern Israel

Graffiti saying “ISIS passed through here” on the walls of a delapidated mosque near the border with Syria on February 3, 2016. (Mendy Hechtman/Flash90)

Israel’s concern is largely based on reported chemical weapons attacks by ISIS in eastern Syria and western Iraq, two regions where the border is porous between both countries. However, there is also some concern that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade might have also been able to get hold of remnants from the Syrian government’s chemical weapons arsenal.

The Syrian government had agreed to relinquish its chemical weapons as part of an arrangement initiated by Russia in September of 2013. In return, the US agreed to abort a potential strike against Syria in response to a chemical weapons attack by regime forces a month earlier.

There is speculation that the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade intends to conduct tests with tactical chemical weapons such as artillery shells with mustard gas.

Arab-Israeli joins ISIS

Arab-Israeli Fares Saritah was indicted and sentenced for attempting to join ISIS in Syria last week. (Hillel Maeir/TPS)

The Yarmouk Martyrs Brigades continues to concentrate its focus on fighting with the other rebel groups in the surrounding areas, including the Al-Qaeda Syrian affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

However, the prospect of an ISIS affiliate possessing weapons on the Syrian-Israeli border is no doubt concerning to Israel’s defense establishment, which reportedly intends to prepare for the possibility that the group will shift its attention towards Israel.

ISIS has repeatedly threatened to attack Israel. In a menacing video released in October, a masked ISIS fighter speaking fluent Hebrew warns that the terror attacks Israel has suffered from the Palestinians will be “child’s play” compared with what ISIS is planning, and that “not one Jew will remain in Jerusalem or the entire country.

By TPS and United with Israel Staff

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