Sunday, December 10, 2006

What Syria Wants

The Jerusalem Post reports on Brigadier General Yossi Beidatz's claim that Syria is preparing for war with Israel:
"The cabinet at its weekly meeting heard a dismal assessment of the regional situation, as Brig.-Gen. Yossi Baidatz informed the government that Syria, concerned by the possibility of an Israeli attack, has stepped up its production of long-range missiles and moved anti-aircraft missiles to the front with Israel."

Haaretz, however, adds that:
"'Assad is working in two parallel tracks,' Baidatz said. 'On the one hand he is not ruling out a diplomatic solution with Israel and on the other hand he is preparing his forces for military conflict.'

"He added that the Syrian president has been conducting extensive diplomatic activity over the past two weeks.

"Baidatz said that Assad feels a window has been opened for peace talks on the international level, and he plans to take advantage of that opporunity."

As noted here earlier, Syria has also been implicated as a hardline force in the negotiations over Gilad Shalit and a Palestinian unity government. I suspect the Assad government has decided that now is the time to move on recovering the Golan Heights and making peace with Israel, and this is the regime's way of trying to lure Israel to the table by reminding it that they have influence in Palestinian affairs.

(Crossposted to American Footprints.)


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