Syrian army maintains high war preparedness, continues to smuggle arms to Lebanese Hizballah
On October 7, debkafile‘s sources revealed that Tehran and Damascus are gearing up for a pre-emptive Syrian attack on Israel to ward off a US strike on Iran’s nuclear sites. The Syrian armed forces` war preparedness dates from then and is still in force and Damascus continues to send arms to HIzballah in Lebanon, according to a briefing by the head of research at AMAN to the Israeli cabinet Sunday, Oct. 15.
Asad’s Iranian-backed war plan would serve the purpose of forcing the Americans to divide their military assets between a strike against Iran and the defense of their allies in the Persia Gulf, Israel and US forces in Iraq. Both are seriously looking at a Syrian attack on the Golan, a fresh Hizballah offensive from Lebanon, or a Hamas attack from Gaza or a combination thereof.
The Syrian ruler would not threaten war without guarantees from Iran. According to debkafile‘s sources, Asad and Iran’s supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei are prompted by the following motives:
1. Tehran is not prepared to wait passively for the Americans to build up their assault force in the Gulf and strike its nuclear facilities. A pre-emptive attack would suit them better.
2. Tehran and Damascus have not missed the debilitating crisis in which Israel’s political and military leadership are sunk since the Lebanon war. They do not propose to wait until the IDF pulls itself together enough to handle fresh aggression.
3. Both accept Israel’s deputy prime minister Shimon Peres’ assessment that Israel’s cities are not prepared for missile attack. Iran and Syria take it for granted that Israeli leaders understand they cannot afford to launch missiles against either one of them for fear of reprisal in kind.
4. Syria believes that if Hizballah could stand up to the Israeli army in Lebanon, its commandoes can capture sections of the Golan and walk off with an easy victory.
5. Tehran figures that the Bush administration is coming to the end of its patience in Iraq and preparing for a major review of its position there. The influential U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman, John Warner, said Friday that Iraq`s government had 60 to 90 days to control the violence that threatens civil war or the United States would have to reconsider its options. This gives the Maliki government in Baghdad up to December or January to de-escalate if not halt the sectarian war engulfing the country.
Iran, Syria and Hizballah would not be averse to disrupting the American Iraq timeline by attacking Israel and putting the Bush administration on the spot, forced to address three warfronts simultaneously.