JERUSALEM, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Amid talks about a looming U.S.- led western attack on Syria, Israelis fearful of a possible Syrian retaliation flock to the gas masks distribution centers across the country, raising the demand by a fourfold in only two days.
As the Israeli government remains apparently calm in the face of an impending strike on its neighboring country, citizens fear that the alleged Syrian chemical weapons stock may be used against Israel. "We have seen a spike of 300 percent in phone calls asking for these kits since Sunday and twice the number of people have approached the postal centers to ask for them," a spokeswoman for the Israeli Postal Authority, in charge of distributing the masks, told Xinhua on Tuesday.
Last week's reports about a chemical attack against Syrian civilians allegedly carried out by the government forces, prompted an intense debate within the international community about the need of military intervention in the war-torn country.
But despite the fears of a possible Syrian retaliation against Israel, an Israeli Home Front Command officer told TV Channel 2 on Monday that the country may not have enough gas masks for all of its eight-million population due to a budgetary constraint.
"There is no 100 percent defense, but every person should be equipped," the official said.
According to statistics released by the government this week, only 60 percent of Israelis have gas masks kits at their homes.
Syria interested in revealing reality of chemical attack: FM
DAMASCUS, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al- Moallem said that his government has interest in revealing the reality of the chemical attack that supposedly took place near Damascus, stressing Syria has lived up to its part of the deal with the UN but the rebels hindered the UN mission. Full Story
British military working on Syria contingency plans: media
LONDON, Aug. 27, (Xinhua) -- Britain's armed forces are working on contingency plans for military action as a response to "the chemical weapons attack" in Syria, media quoted Prime Minister David Cameron's spokesman as saying Tuesday.
Claiming "unacceptable" of "any use of chemical weapons" in Syria, the spokesman urged the international community to respond to that. Full Story
Syria to defend itself in case of any military attack: FM
DAMASCUS, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- Syria will defend itself by all available means if the United States decided to attack the country, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said at a press conference on Tuesday. Full Story
Kerry says Syria chemical weapons use "undeniable"
WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Monday that the chemical-weapons use against civilians in Syria is inexcusable and "undeniable," and that President Barack Obama will make an informed decision on how to respond.
"Indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity," Kerry said. Full Story