US cable: Syria tells Iran it won't join war against Israel
Syria told Iran it won't join the fight in case of a military stand-off between Tehran and Israel following an attack on its nuclear facilities, a US cable published by WikiLeaks revealed on Wednesday. The statements in the document, dated December 20, 2009, were made by a diplomatic source who spoke with American Embassy officials in Damascus.
The source said Syria refused Iranian demands to join them in case a war breaks between Israel and the Islamic Republic or Hizbullah. According to the report, senior Iranian officials visited Syria at the beginning of the same month in order to solidify alliances ahead of a possible Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities.
The quoted diplomatic source claimed the Iranians told their Syrian hosts that it was not a question of will Israel attack, but rather a question of when it will attack. Damascus told the Iranians in response not to expect Syria, Hizbullah or Hamas to take part in this war. "We told them Iran is strong enough on its own to develop a nuclear program and to fight Israel," the source was quoted as saying, adding, "we're too weak." The Iranians know Syria has condemned Israeli threats and would denounce Israeli military operations against Iran," he added.
The Iranians, on their part, were not so pleased with the response.