Israel says it will launch a military operation against Syria if Damascus transfers missiles or chemical weapons to the Lebanese resistance movement Hezbollah.
"I have instructed the military to increase its intelligence preparations and prepare what is needed so that ... (if necessary) ... we will be able to consider carrying out an operation," the Associated Press quoted Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Ehud Barak as saying on Friday.
“We are following…the possible transfer of advanced munitions systems, mainly anti-aircraft missiles or heavy ground-to-ground missiles, but there could also be a possibility of the transfer of chemical means (weapons) from Syria to Lebanon," said Barak.
He went on to say that "the moment (Syrian President Bashar al-Assad) starts to fall we will conduct intelligence monitoring and will liaise with other agencies."
Meanwhile, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved a resolution extending the mandate of its observer mission in Syria for another 30 days.
On Thursday, Russia and China vetoed a Western-backed UN Security Council draft resolution against Syria, which called for new sanctions against the government of President Assad under Chapter Seven of the UN Charter.
Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011, with demonstrations being held both against and in support of President Bashar al-Assad's government.
The Syrian government says outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorists are the driving factor behind the unrest and deadly violence while the opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings.
Damascus also says that the chaos is being orchestrated from outside the country and the security forces have been given clear instructions not to harm civilians.