Syria's Assad intent on dragging Israel into his mess

Wednesday, October 05, 2011 |  Ryan Jones

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Tuesday reportedly threatened to bombard Tel Aviv with ballistic missiles if NATO or other Western powers dare to interfere with his violent crackdown on Syrian pro-democracy demonstrations.

Iran's Fars news agency reported that Assad made the threat during a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmad Davutoglu. According to Assad, he would "not need more than 6 hours to transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv."

Assad reportedly said the Syrian missile barrage would also be complimented by an intense Hizballah missile assualt from Lebanon on northern Israel.

Were that scenario to play out, Assad is said to be confident that Iran would launch an attack on US warships in the Persian Gulf.

While the situation is wholly out of Israel's hands, there is concern in the Jewish state over what Assad may interpret as Western interference.

Israeli commentators have already stressed that if Assad feels he is going to be toppled, he will have nothing to lose by launching a last minute attack on Israel. In fact, by doing so he has much to gain, as a missile assault on Tel Aviv would solidify Assad's legacy as a dedicated enemy of the hated "Zionist entity."

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration was outraged on Tuesday when Russia and China vetoed a UN Security Council resolution condemning the Assad regime's brutal suppression of pro-democracy protestors in Syria.

Russia and China "would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people," said US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice after storming out of the Security Council. "Today the courageous people of Syria can now see who on this council supports their yearning for liberty and universal human rights and who does not."

Conservative estimates are that 2,700 civilians have been killed by force loyal to Assad over the past six months.

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