Syria ‘Won’t Hesitate’ to Start War With Israel to Regain Golan

assad.jpg There’s lots of important information in this article, see highlights below. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s latest comments in Al-Baath, the official government newspaper, sound like more empty threats and saber rattling to me. Timed to coincide with the 34th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War, which Syria lost but still considers a victory, the statements are most likely another Syrian attempt to show its own people and the wider Arab world they are not impotent — always on the Syrian agenda. For example, Syria already has hesitated to start a war with Israel. There was no response after they were handed a casus belli on September 6 following Israel’s attack deep inside their country. That speaks louder than Bashar’s latest comments. I doubt anything has changed in the Syrian military’s calculus in a period of one month, or if there was a change, it is in the opposite direction. Syria has learned that the IAF (Israeli Air Force) can still penetrate its airspace with impunity like it did when it buzzed low over Bashar’s summer home in Latakia on more than one occasion in the past 5 years (shattering windows by some accounts), despite Syria’s recent acquisition of brand new Russian air defense systems. Last time Syria started a war with Israel in 1973 over the Golan Heights, they did it without first announcing they “will not hesitate to start a war with Israel”, but started a war by way of a surprise attack and achieved some significant military successes in the first week or so of the war.

It’s also worth noting that the more leaks that come out on Israel’s September 6. operation, the more it points to the triumph of the theory Israel hit a Syrian nuclear installation. None of the other theories initially proposed are gaining any credence with time. Perhaps the nuclear installation theory wasn’t just another bogus Neo-con falsification after all.

(The Jerusalem Post)

Syria will not hesitate to start a war with Israel in order to restore its control over the Golan Heights, A-Baath, the official newspaper of President Bashar Assad’s government, warned Saturday.

In an article to mark 34 years since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, A-Baath said: “Our people and our leadership are determined to liberate our conquered lands using all means, methods and ways.”

Meanwhile, ABC News quoted American officials as saying that the IAF raid in Syria during September was planned for several months and was postponed a number of times due to heavy US pressure.

According to the report, Israel presented US officials with satellite imagery which clearly showed North Korean nuclear technology in a Syrian facility. According to a US source, Washington officials were astonished by the imagery and by the fact US intelligence had not picked up on the facility previously.

“Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources,” said ABC News military consultant Tony Cordesman.

A different source told ABC News that Israel had planned the strike as early as July 14, and in confidential meetings with high ranking US officials, debated over the appropriate response. Several officials supported Israel’s decision to strike, although others, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, firmly opposed it and offered to publicly condemn Syria for operating a nuclear facility instead.

US officials who initially opposed the raid, according to ABC , apparently feared the negative influence it might have over the whole region. Consequently, officials in Washington persuaded Israel to push back the raid, but in September, Israel feared that information about the facility might be leaked to the press, and went ahead with the strike, despite objections by Washington.”

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