A senior Israeli military intelligence official claims that Syria is using chemical weapons against militants fighting against the Damascus government.

Brigadier General Itai Brun, head of the research and analysis division of Israeli military intelligence, said on Tuesday that Syrian troops have probably used Sarin, a lethal nerve agent, against militants on several occasions in the past few months. He also said the Syrian government was using less lethal chemical weapons that neutralize and are not fatal. The Israeli official only cited images of people hurt in the alleged attacks, but gave no indication that he had other evidence, such as soil samples, typically used to verify chemical weapons use. He made the remarks as US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel wrapped up a three - day visit to Israel focused on the Syrian unrest and Iran’s nuclear energy program. Israel has previously leveled similar accusations against Damascus without providing any evidence. Political observers believe Tel Aviv is trying to pave the way for a foreign intervention in Syria, which is part of an anti - Israeli front in the region, by accusing Damascus of using chemical weapons. The United States has described any use of chemical weapons in Syria as a " red line, " which would evoke possible military action. This is while Western countries, including US, have remained silent over militants ' use of chemical weapons in Aleppo in March, which killed 25 people. Damascus has repeatedly said that it will not chemical weapons against its own people.