A new US-led contingency headquarters for joint US, Israeli, Jordanian and Turkish operations will go into action inside Syria if any or all these allies should come under chemical or biological attack. Agreement to establish this headquarters was finalized at the talks US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel held with visiting Israeli defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Pentagon Tuesday, March 5.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report that Hagel spoke of a chemical war in Syria in terms of an imminent and realistic eventuality. Washington expected the Syrian rebels close to al Qaeda to initiate this type of warfare and the Syria army to fight back in kind. Such an exchange could quickly spill over the Syrian borders to its neighbors, it was likewise predicted.
The abduction of 21 UNDOP Filipino UN observers Wednesday, March 6, by the Islamist Martyrs of the Yarmouk, is now seen as tying in closely with the next plans of the Islamist militias of the Syrian rebel force, headed by Jabhat al-Nusra, which are to cement their grip on the Syrian Golan, eastern Syria and the Upper Euphrates, where the important towns of Deir Azor and Abu Kemal are situated.
Therefore, the parties involved in their release refute the optimistic accounts of the blue-helmeted hostages’ early release issuing from Damascus, UN headquarters in New York and Middle East capitals.