Fears growing in Israel as Syria sending Scuds to Hizbullah
A “Scud Crisis” may potentially spark another Israeli-Hizbullah war, Kuwait's Al Rai reported on April 11.
According to the Kuwaiti daily, Syria has delivered several Scud missiles to Hizbullah, igniting a behind-the-scenes crisis after Israel told U.S. authorities “it will take steps if the U.S. didn’t find a solution to what the Jewish state considers a threat to its security.”
Following Israel’s warning, the United States Department of State summoned Syrian ambassador Imad Mustafa and asked him “to inform his government about the level of danger if the missiles crossed the border.”
Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry discussed the issue with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus. “Assad's denial (about the delivery of the Scuds) didn't seem convincing for the Americans who were mainly convinced that Damascus delivered the missiles to Hizbullah,” Al Rai reported.
Israeli authorities have since sent indirect warnings to Syrian authorities via Qatar and Turkey that it would “bomb Lebanese and Syrian targets in case the missiles crossed the border” and reached Hizbullah.
Nevertheless, the newspaper warned that there have been conflicting reports about the delivery of the Scud missiles, saying some Washington sources have confirmed the delivery while others have maintained that no Scuds crossed the Lebanon-Syria border.
One Middle East analyst told The Cable that concern has emanated primarily form Capital Hill. “There is serious concern in Congress about just how bad Syria's behavior has been lately, from their flagrant ties with terrorist groups and Iran, to deeply worrying arms shipments to Hizbullah in Lebanon.”
A spokesman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington, Ahmed Salkini, denied all the allegations. “These reports are unequivocally false and are a product of the Israeli government that is trying to speciously create a raised level of tension in the region to justify a future conflagration of violence on their part, or simply to divert attention from the real issue at hand: Israeli settlements and expansionism,” he told The Cable.
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