Syria threatens Israel with war of attrition

Thursday, August 02, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad has reportedly messaged Jerusalem that if it continues to refuse to enter into negotiations leading to the surrender of the Golan Heights, Damascus will launch a war of attrition against the Jewish state.

Israel's Yediot Ahronot learned of the secret message, which was relayed earlier this week, and reported that it was accompanied by confirmation that Syria has opened the portion of the Golan that it still controls to renewed habitation.

Most of the new residents are said to be Syrian army officers, who are expected to lead the acts of attrition against Israel should the threats of violence materialize.

Another report indicated that Assad's government has refused to allow active and reserve Syrian army officers to leave the country at this time in expectation of a conflict with Israel.

Meanwhile, a poll commissioned by the American bipartisan organization Terror Free Tomorrow found that 51 percent of Syrians support peace with Israel, but only in exchange for a full surrender of the Golan Heights.

Prior to 1967, Syria used the Golan as a base for constant low-level attacks on northern Israel, and as a launch pad for two full-scale invasions.

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