Mideast war inevitable in 'very' near future? Dramatic escalation in cooperation between Israel's foes

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Pastor Dale Morgan

Mar 3, 2010, 1:51:01 AM3/3/10
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Perilous Times

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 into Israel.

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 facilities.

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 regime.

"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 day earlier.

"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 Moratinos.

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.

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