Haaretz: Moderation Seen in Bashar Assad\'s Stance on Hizbollah
Israel has detected a certain moderation in the stance recently taken by Syrian President Bashar Assad toward the Lebanese Hizbollah movement and its actions against Israel, compared to previous months, when his enthusiastic support for the Islamic organization aroused considerable concern, an Israeli government source was quoted by Haaretz as saying Saturday.
"It appears that Bashar is starting to understand that Hizbollah is playing with fire in its fight over the Shabaa Farms, and that he could also end up getting burned," the official told Haaretz.
Bashar now seems more aware of the dangers involved in the movement's actions than in the past, the official said.
He added, however, that Syria has not taken any real steps to restrain Hizbollah, and the arms shipments from Iran to Lebanon via the Damascus airport continue as before.
Senior defense told the daily that they share the government official's assessment concerning Bashar's modified stance.
According to Haaretz, Bashar Assad expressed steadfast support for Hizbollah action against the Israeli army in the past.
Senior officials termed his approach "immature, irresponsible and worrying," and claimed that Assad's public support for Hizbollah could be interpreted by the organization as a green light to carry out major terror attacks against Israel and drag the entire region into war.
In light of this, Israeli officials sent warnings to Syria, maintaining that a serious attack on Israeli soldiers at Shabaa farms could lead to Israeli retaliation against Syrian interests in Lebanon, added Haaretz.
The view now among Israeli officials and the security establishment is that the message was received in Syria, and that the diplomatic pressure being exerted by the United States and Russia on the governments of Syria and Lebanon has also contributed to calming the situation, according to the daily -- Albawaba.com
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
- US Harsh on Hizbollah, Lenient on Israel as it Condemns ‘Dangerous Escalation’ in Mideast Violence
- Report: Egypt Pledges to Help Syria Should War Break Out with Israel
- Israel’s Foreign Policy Counselors Divided over Syria’s Seat at Security Council
- Fears Mount as Lebanon’s Debate on Syria Takes Serious Turn