Bashar Al-Assad Says War With Israel Likely
The Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, has said in an interview with Kuwaiti paper, Al-Anbaa, that war with Israel is highly likely as long as peace in the Middle East sustains instability.
Al-Assad argued that Israel had neglected the Middle East peace process since 2001. He said “this means that there will be no peace in the foreseeable future.” He also claimed that his country was therefore “always prepared” for war with Israel.
“If there is no peace, naturally you should expect that war may come.”
Bashar Al-Assad also claimed Syria would “expect that there will be Israeli aggression at any time.”
Reserve General Amos Gilad, Israel’s defence ministry adviser, said that Syria’s “threat” could not be ignored. He said these declarations from Assad “must be taken seriously.”
He called the Al-Assad declarations “menacing” and added that Israel would “carefully study” them.
“In the long term the declarations of Assad are of great importance, but for the time being they change nothing. It is not a concrete threat.”
Al-Jazeera reports that in a seperate interview with Mohsen Bilal, Syrian information minister, had consolidated Al-Assad’s arguments in the Kuwaiti paper. He told Al-Jazeera, “Syria has considered the possibility of Israeli military action.”
“Syria is ready for all options and for Israel’s hostile plans following the failure of its aggression in Lebanon.”
Bilal claimed that Israel was in “crisis” after the “victory of the Lebanese resistance [Hezbollah].”
The Syrian military was on stand-by during the 33-day war between Israel and Hezbollah in case of a pre-emptive strike by Israel. Syria was provoked during the war but did not respond.