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Al-Qaeda, Chlorine Gas, and Israel's Water Supply

Updated on March 25, 2013
The balloon marker indicates the location.
The balloon marker indicates the location.

It was just a few days ago that the Al Musanna Brigade of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm and al-Nusra fighters seized control of the village of Sham Al-Jawla, which was defended by units of the Syrian 5th Division. After the bitter battle, the Syrians withdrew allowing the al-Qaeda affiliated group to control it. This small village is a gatewayto reach the Syrian Golan sector from the south and direct access to the Jordanian and Israeli borders.

Why is this important?

The Sea of Galilee is only 3-5 miles away. It is a huge water supply for Israel and Jordan. One of the tributaries that flows into the source is the Wadi ar-Ruqqad, a 40 mile long waterway that forms the Golan’s eastern boundary. There are 14 Israeli villages in the area. Eventually, this stream flows into the Yarmouk River.

Even before President Obama left the area, he was informed that the al-Qaeda group in Iraq had obtained chlorine gas and were now moving it towards the Wadi ar-Ruqqad area. Secretary of State Kerry then flew to Iraq for a meeting with PM Maliki and warned him about allowing Iranian airflights into Syria. Maliki refused to stop Iran from flying over Syria. Kerry then warned him about allowing al-Qaeda in obtaining chemical weapons in Iraq. Hollow threats and Maliki knows it.

The fear is how al-Qaeda might use this gas. They could release it in some small Israeli towns or worse, poison the water supply to some extent.

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