Syria's Assad rallies his troops

Wednesday, August 01, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday wrote a letter to the Syrian army marking the 62nd anniversary of its establishment that had the tone of preparing soldiers for imminent armed conflict.

“The Syrian army and the Syrian people are stronger than they have ever been, and Syria is determined to return every grain of dirt from its occupied land,” wrote Assad, referring to the Golan Heights region, which Israel captured from Syria in the 1967 Six Day War.

“Our desire for peace does not mean that we have given up our rights,” continued Assad. “The liberation of our occupied land is a sacred duty and a right guaranteed by international laws.”

Israeli military experts have been warning for months that Syria is preparing the ground for war, and may try to spark a broader conflict by first engaging in limited cross-border aggression.

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