At Tuesday’s Senate Foreign Relations Committee on military intervention in Syria, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested that if the United States fails to act, Syria-based Hezbollah or other terrorist groups could acquire chemical weapons and use them against Americans.
“If Assad is prepared to use chemical weapons against his own people, we have to be concerned that terrorist groups like Hezbollah, which has forces in Syria supporting the Assad regime, could acquire them,” Hagel said in his opening remarks. “This risk of chemical weapons proliferation poses a direct threat to our friends and partners, and to U.S. personnel in the region. We cannot afford for Hezbollah or any terrorist group determined to strike the United States to have incentives to acquire or use chemical weapons.”
Some Republicans like Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) have articulated that concern while expressing their support for Obama’s proposal.