The US newspaper New York Times revealed that military sources in Israel approached the US at the end of November 2012, and discussed with colleagues in the Pentagon about intelligence information that indicated that Syria was making final preparations for the use of chemical weapons.
According to the report, the information was transferred to the US based on satellite photography, and indicated that Syrian soldiers at two storage sites mixed chemicals – apparently for the production of Sarin gas – and loaded them into bombs that can be dropped from aircraft. The newspaper reports that within hours of the transfer of the Israeli information, US president Barack Obama was updated on the issue. According to the report, Assad was capable of instructing his soldiers to use the bombs within two hours, which did not leave much time for a western response.
The New York Times claims that immediately afterwards, President Obama issued a public warning to Assad in an effort to stop him from using chemical weapons. The newspaper further reveals that personal and covert messages were delivered to Assad from Russia, Iraq, Turkey and apparently from Jordan as well. This international pressure apparently helped and the process of preparing the bombs was stopped.