Israeli war with Syria is more likely in 2007 than it was in 2006

In an interview with Kuhwaiti paper, Al Anbaa, Syrian President Bashar al Assad said that war with Israel is highly likely as long as peace in the Middle East sustains instability.
“If there is no peace, naturally you should expect that war may come.”

Responding to the Syrian President’s recent remarks, Israel ruled out entering negotiations with Damascus as long as it refuses to end its support to what the Israeli government calls “militant groups”, referring to the Palestinian anti-occupation movement; Hamas, and the Lebanese Hezbollah.

Israel’s recent statements prompted experts to suggest that the two countries might engage in military confrontation sometime soon.

An editorial on the Jerusalem Post stated that in case Israel and Syria engage in war, Israel’s response to Syrian attacks would be harsher than what the world witnessed in recent months in Lebanon, as a result of the capture of Israeli soldiers by resistance fighters from Hezbollah who sought to pressure the Jewish State to release Lebanese detainees held at Israeli dungeons.
JPost cited Israeli officials warning that Israel’s retaliation against Syrian attack would be much deadlier than its response to the capture of reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in Lebanon.

First difference mentioned by the officials would be the bank of targets.
Before Israel launches its July offensive in Lebanon, hours following the capture of its soldier by Lebanese fighters, the government convened to approve what JPost said was a list of targets for the Israeli air forces to strike, none of which included government or Lebanese armed forces sites. In case of war with Syria, Israel would bomb not just the country’s military infrastructure, but also government buildings, headquarters, power plants, electricity grids and water reservoirs.

“We will shut down the entire country”, said one defence official.

Israel seems finalizing plans to confront Syria militarily.
According to Israeli military Intelligence assessments for 2007 presented to the General Staff, war with Syria is more likely in 2007 than it was in 2006.

Israel is worried that Syria might adopt the Egyptian model from the Yom Kippur War in 1973, also known as the 1973 Arab-Israeli War and the Fourth Arab-Israeli War, fought during the period between October 6 and October 26, 1973, between Israel and a coalition of Arab nations led by Egypt and Syria.

The war began with a surprise joint attack by Egyptian and Syrian forces crossing the cease-fire lines in the Sinai and Golan Heights, which had been captured by Israel in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

The Egypt-Syrian alliance lost the war, but obtained a major diplomatic victory. The war paved the way for peace talks between Israel and the Egyptians. The war also brought the eventual return of the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.

Israel believes that President Assad could be aware he’d lose the war, yet hoping that the defeat would force Israel into peace talks and the eventual return of the Golan Heights.
The Israeli army has received orders to remain in a state of alert along the border with Syria. Israel has reportedly deployed additional forces in the North in preparation to confront a possible surprise attack by the Syrians.

Peace talks between Israel and Syria collapsed in 2000. But Syria is determined to regain the Golan Heights, captured by Israeli in the 1967 Middle East War and later annexed in a move not recognised internationally.

In an interview with the BBC, the Syrian President stressed that his government wants to hear if Israel was ready for rapprochement.
But whether Syria would consider adopting the Egyptian model in the previous war remains in question.

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