Syria still preparing for war

Thursday, May 03, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Syria is conducting the largest military buildup along its border with Israel since the outbreak of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, warned Israeli Ambassador to the US Salai Meridor on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press event in Washington, Meridor said that Syria has missiles aimed at every part of Israel, and that its forces are deploying near the Golan Heights in numbers "that we have not seen since 1973."

Earlier in the week, Israel's Yediot Ahronot newspaper cited unnamed "foreign experts" as saying that Syria had constructed a massive underground "missile city" from where it could strike every major population center in the Jewish state.

The structure is said to include reinforced concrete bunkers housing production facilities, development laboratories and command posts. That in addition to a large operational arsenal of SCUD missiles armed with conventional and chemical warheads.

Russian officials last month cautioned that miscalculations by either Israel or Syria could lead to an eruption of hostilities in the coming months. Many Israeli defense officials believe that is precisely what Damascus wants.

Meanwhile, Meridor said Israel is doing everything possible to let Syria know "we have no offensive intention."

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