Israel preparing for war with Syria, confirms general

Tuesday, July 17, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

A senior Israeli general on Monday confirmed that the army is preparing for a full-scale war with Syria in the very near future.

Speaking at Israel's Institute for National Security Studies, Maj.-Gen. Eyal Ben-Reuven, who served as deputy commander of Israel's northern forces during last summer's war in Lebanon, said that the army is “preparing itself for an all-out war, and this is a major change in the military's working premise” following the 34-day conflict with Hizballah that many Israelis feel their nation failed to win.

The general said that when war breaks out, Syria will be prepared to suffer mass military and civilian casualties, while at the same time playing on Israel's sensitivity to civilian losses by striking Israel's home front with as many missiles as possible.

Syria “will try to hit Israel's home front in order to win diplomatic gains in peace talks that will follow, and also cause another split in Israeli society,” Israel National News quoted Ben-Reuven as saying.

In order to deny Syria this victory, Ben-Reuven said the Israeli army is training for a swift and overwhelming invasion of Syria “to knock out the areas from where missiles are launched against Israel as quickly as possible.”

He lamented that if Israel had responded to Hizballah's rocket attacks in such a manner, the Second Lebanon War would have ended much differently.

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