Israel has warned that it would attack military targets inside Syria the next time Lebanon’s Hizbullah strikes Israel, The Sunday Times reported.
The newspaper quoted Israeli military sources as saying Sharon government's position has hardened after Syrian President Bashar Assad ignored two separate warnings to end his country's support for Hizbullah and the armed Palestinian groups based in Damascus. The warnings were forwarded via the US.
A third warning was later delivered by Israel’s Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer when he met with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak last week. Assad is expected to meet with Mubarak this week.
The British paper quoted military sources as saying that Israel has come close to launching an attack on Syria in recent weeks, but suicide bombings focused Israel's attention on military activities in the West Bank and there has been a reluctance to open a second front in the north.
Former chief of Israel’s military intelligence Major-General Amos Malka was quoted as warning that "sooner rather than later we'll be engaged in a conflict with Syria unless Syria changes its attitude." "Assad has not delivered the goods," Malka reportedly said. "I'm not sure he reads the geopolitical map correctly, and he's taking unnecessary risks."
According to The Sunday Times, Israel's military plans calls for a swift air attack, which will destroy a Syrian brigade that contains as many as 100 tanks. This attack would be followed by an artillery assault. A several day occupation has also been suggested, the report said. (Albawaba.com)
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