Friday, April 27, 2007

'Syria preps for summer war'

Officials: Iran helping Damascus produce rockets, move troops, missiles

WORLDNETDAILY - By Aaron Klein - April 23, 2007

TEL AVIV - Syria aided by Iran is making preparations for a summer war with Israel, including acquisition of advanced weaponry, placement of missiles near the Jewish state's border, and training and movements of strategic troop battalions, Israeli security officials told WND.

The information follows media interviews last week in which Syrian President Bashar Assad stated he doesn't rule out the possibility of war with Israel. Syrian officials recently have also been warning if Israel doesn't vacate the Golan Heights, Damascus will resort to "resistance."

The Heights is strategic mountainous territory that looks down on Israeli and Syrian population centers; it was twice used by Damascus to mount ground invasions into the Jewish state.

According to Israeli security officials, the Syrian military in recent week has been carrying out stepped-up training of troops and has increased the readiness of its army.

The officials noted movement of Syrian Scud missiles near the border with Israel and said Syria has been increasing production of rockets capable of hitting central Israeli population centers.

The security officials said the greatest threat Syria poses to the Jewish state are the country's missiles and rockets. They noted Syria recently test-fired two Scud-D surface-to-surface missiles, which have a range of about 250 miles, covering most Israeli territory. The officials said the Syrian missile test was coordinated with Iran and is believed to have been successful. It is not known what type of warhead the missiles had.

In addition to longer range Scuds, Syria is in possession of shorter range missiles such as 220 millimeter and 305 millimeter rockets, some of which have been passed on to Hezbollah.

In addition, Israel has information Syria recently acquired and deployed Chinese-made C-802 missiles, which were successfully used against the Israeli navy during Israel's war against the Lebanese Hezbollah militia this pasty July and August. The missiles were passed to Syria by Iran, Israeli security officials told WND.

Russia recently sold to Syria advanced anti-tank missiles similar to the projectiles that devastated Israeli tanks during the last Lebanon war, causing the highest number of Israeli troop casualties during the 34 days of military confrontations. Syria and Russia are negotiating the sale of advanced anti-aircraft missiles.

Israeli security officials told WND Syria is preparing for a summer war, but said the war preparations are defensive in nature. They said Syrian war preparations are being coordinated by Iran. The officials said Syria believes Israel will attack first in response to ongoing support of Hezbollah, including the passage of large quantities of rockets to the Lebanese group. The officials also said Syria estimates the U.S. or Israel will attack Iran, and that Syria will be drawn into a larger military confrontation.

Israeli security officials don't rule out the possibility Syria may start a low-grade military conflict with Israel over the Golan Heights, noting multiple Syria officials in recent months warned if Israel doesn't vacate the territory, Damascus will launch "resistance." - - - -

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