By stating that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used chemical weapons, Brig. Gen. Itai Brun, the director of Israel’s Military Intelligence Research Department, cornered the Americans. Washington finally — and very tentatively — admitted that such weapons had been used. If Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu planned to ambush the Americans, it was a phenomenal success. From an Israeli standpoint, this was a chance to test America's supposed "red line," although it's doubtful that American recognition of the use of chemical weapons against Syrian civilians will culminate in a military intervention.
On the afternoon of March 19, as Syrian insurgents began to disseminate photos of an attack by the Syrian military in Aleppo, Israeli intelligence bodies already knew that nerve agents had been used against civilians, and probably not for the first time. That intelligence was based on the analysis of video footage following the attack, which documented the victims' symptoms, but it was also based on intelligence Israel had obtained.