(REUTERS) — Any sign that Syria’s grip on its chemical weapons is slipping as it battles an armed uprising could trigger Israeli military strikes, Israel’s vice premier said on Sunday.

Silvan Shalom confirmed a media report that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had last week convened a meeting of security chiefs to discuss the civil war in Syria and the state of its suspected chemical arsenal.

Israel and NATO countries say Syria has stocks of chemical warfare agents at four sites. Syria is cagey about whether it has such arms but says if it had it would keep them secure and use them only to fend off foreign attack.

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