Mideast war inevitable in 'very' near future? Dramatic escalation in
cooperation between Israel's foes
Posted: March 02, 2010
10:28 pm Eastern
By Aaron Klein
Egyptian trucks cross a bridge laid across the Suez Canal during the
1973 Yom Kippur War
JERUSALEM – Egypt is concerned Israel could be in a conflict in the
very near future with Syria or the Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon,
a senior Egyptian security official said.
The security official said in any future war with Syria or Hezbollah,
both actors have been preparing to storm the Israeli border with
guerillas and commandos, an act unseen here since the 1973 Yom Kippur
War, the last conflict in which Syria was openly involved.
In previous conflicts with Hezbollah, the terrorist group fired rockets
In addition, the security official said Syria has separately been
contemplating launching low-grade attacks against Jewish communities in
the Golan Heights to pressure Israel into negotiations aimed at
relinquishing the strategic territory.
The official said his country is concerned about a coming conflict but
did not mention a specific timeframe.
"It's possible either side may misinterpret moves and launch the
opening salvo very soon," he said.
The official also said Israel is concerned Syria has recently passes
advanced weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon. He said his country believes
Israel may want to engage in a conflict with Hezbollah to minimize that
group's capabilities before any future strike against Iran's nuclear
Hezbollah could be used as part of Iran's strategy of retaliation
against Iran in a future war, the official said.
Recent weeks have seen a war of words between Israel and Syria, as well
as a dramatic escalation of public cooperation between Israel's foes
Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas.
Last month, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman warned Syria's
president, Bashar Assad, that any war with his country would topple his
"Assad should know that if he attacks, he will not only lose the war.
Neither he nor his family will remain in power," Lieberman said.
Lieberman was responding to a Syrian threat against Israeli cities one
"Israel knows that if it declares war on Syria, such a war will reach
its cities as well," Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem said
following a meeting last week with Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel
Syria has long demanded the Golan Heights as part of any deal with
Israel. The Golan looks down on Israeli population centers and twice
was used by Damascus to launch ground invasions into the Jewish state.
Last week, Syria hosted a summit with Iranian President Mahmoud
Ahmadinejad, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and Khaled Meshal, head
of the Hamas. All participants expressed solidarity with each other and
vowed the destruction of Israel.
The meeting was followed up with another confab in Iran last weekend
entitled "Islamic and National Solidarity with the Palestinian People."
The summit was attended by the leaders of Hamas, Hezbollah and Syria.
All three again denounced Israel.