Israel gearing up for ‘surprise war’ with Syria if Assad falls – general


(Photo: Wikipedia) The unrest engulfing the Middle East could result in Israel becoming involved in a “surprise war” with Syria, according to the head of the Israeli air force.

“When you look [around] today I think that a surprise war can be born in very many configurations,” Major General Amir Eshel said at a conference near Tel Aviv.

In particular, the general stressed that if rebels ousted Syrian President Bashar Assad and seized the huge stockpiles of missiles within the country, it could lead to a major conflict in the region.

“If Syria collapses tomorrow, we are liable to find ourselves in this stew very quickly and in a very big way,”Eshel said.

“The enormous arsenal parked there… will be spread all over the place and you find yourself having to act on a very broad scale.”

On Tuesday, Israeli chief of staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz issued a personal warning to President Assad, saying the Syrian leader would “bear the consequences” in the event of further attacks on Israeli forces. The threat followed the Syrian military firing across the armistice line on the Golan Heights, hitting an Israeli military vehicle. Israeli troops have responded to such events by taking retaliatory shots at targets across the Syrian border.

Technically, Israel has been at war with Syria since it seized 1,200 square kilometers (460 square miles) of the Golan territory from its neighbor in the 1967 Six-Day War. Fourteen years later, Tel Aviv annexed the land, though the move has never been recognized by the international community.

Israel warned it would not tolerate fire from Syria, or the transfer of advanced weapons to militants.

Tel Aviv maintains that its main concern is that Syria’s arsenal – which includes chemical weapons, anti-aircraft systems and missiles – could be sent to Hezbollah or fall into the hands of rebel groups linked to Al-Qaeda. Israel reportedly conducted flights into Syria to determine if there were any chemical weapons stored across the territory of the conflict-torn state. Tel Aviv has denied the flights took place.

Earlier, Israeli defense officials spoke out on a more positive note, saying that Israel’s ability to deter attacks on its positions in the occupied Golan Heights was undiminished.

“The good news is that the continued stability of the Golan Heights [and] the deterrent power of the Israeli army have not been weakened,” senior defense adviser Amos Gilad told Army Radio at the time.

However, this past week there have been three consecutive cross-border shootings, and the Israeli military is concerned by the incidents, according to Army Radio.


This is a copy of the full article provided by RT

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