(Israel National News) Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar has quoted Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, telling guests at a presidential palace that he had the ability to “shut Israel up,” even without his arsenal of chemical weapons.

The newspaper also reported that Assad spoke about his frustration of not being honored with the Nobel Peace Prize for agreeing to allow a weapons team to remove his chemical stockpile.

According to the report, Assad told guests that Syria’s greatest achievement had been the development of chemical weapons in 1997, saying that the country had sought to acquire the weapons to strengthen its influence regionally.

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