Olmert: Israel not planning war against Syria
Israel does not want a war with Syria, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Wednesday after a meeting of the security cabinet that focused on Damascus. But Olmert also repeated his warning that "miscalculation" could spark hostilities between the two countries.
"Israel does not want a war with Syria," Olmert was quoted by his office as saying after the meeting, adding that this message had been passed to Damascus by various diplomatic channels.
But Olmert also warned: "We must avoid miscalculations that are liable to lead to a security deterioration."
According to AFP, the cabinet met a day after the military staged war games, including a simulated attack on a Syrian village and another that simulated a surprise attack by Syrian commandoes on the occupied Golan Heights.
Israel's Defense Minister Amir Peretz, asked by army radio about the possibility of a conflict, said "the army must be ready to face any degradation" on the Syrian front. But he added: "This does not reflect aggressive intentions against Syria," and called for Israel to "do everything to check whether it's possible to open negotiations."