Sunday 29 August 2010

Report: Israel planning to attack Syria

The Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reports that Israel is preparing to strike Hezbollah targets in Syria; Al-Arabi Al-Quds reports that western diplomats have asked Bashar Assad to refrain from interfering with Israel-PA direct peace talks.

Israel is planning to attack Hezbollah arms depots and weapons manufacturing plants in Syria, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Rai reported on Saturday.

The report is based on Western sources who asserted that Israel has increased its military force level along the northern border in the Golan Heights and Mount Dov areas.

The report cited European sources who claimed that recent Israeli unmanned aerial drone flights over Lebanon and Syria signal Israel's intentions to carry out operations in the area.

According to the report, Israel plans to attack Hezbollah weapons depots, including ones deep inside Syria that store long-range rockets.

The Al Rai report said that the situation on the Israel-Syria border is tense and that Syria could respond immediately to any Israeli attack and not demonstrate the restraint that it did after the Israeli Air Force bombed a suspected nuclear reactor in Syria in the fall of 2007.

According to the report, Syria's military is on high alert and is strengthening its anti-aircraft defenses along the border with Israel and at strategic sites within Syria.

Western diplomats to Assad: Don't interfere in Israel-PA talks

Also on Saturday, the Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper reported that western nations, including the United States, have in recent days asked Syria to refrain from negatively interfering with the upcoming direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, set to open next week in Washington.

According to the report, American officials expressed their firm opposition to Syrian President Bashar Assad taking any position or exerting any influence on the talks, as they fear that another failure of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could lead to even graver consequences than did past failed talks.

The report said that Assad was also asked to restrain Palestinian militant organizations that operate on Syrian territory, including Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

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