Peres: Syria Arming Hizbullah with Scuds While Talking Peace
Syria is providing Hizbullah terrorists in Lebanon with the Scud missiles that traumatized Israel in the 1991 Gulf War, and a "Scud Crisis" is threatening to ignite an all-out war between Israel and Hizbullah, the Kuwaiti al-Rai newspaper reported.
President Shimon Peres confirmed the reports prior to leaving for his three-day visit to France.
Paraphrasing Psalms 120:7, the president said on Israeli radio, “Syria claims it wants peace while at the same time it delivers Scuds to Hizbullah whose only goal is to threaten the state of Israel. “I am for peace; When I speak, they are for war.”’
Al-Rai reported this week that Israel warned the Obama administration “it will take steps” if the United States does not succeed in pressuring Syria to cease arming Hizbullah with the weapons. The U.S. State Department then summoned Syrian Ambassador Imad Mustafa "to inform his government about the level of danger if the missiles crossed the border.”
Israel reportedly sent warnings it would bomb Lebanese and Syrian targets if the long-range missiles cross the border into Lebanon. There are conflicting reports on whether several Scud missiles already have been delivered to Hizbullah terrorists. Despite the almost invisible line between Lebanese armed forces and Hizbullah, the Obama has administration shipped weapons to the Beirut-based government, which is heavily dominated by Syrian interests.
The increasingly open threats made by Syrian leaders and members of the Hizbullah terrorist group in Lebanon have led analyst David Schenker of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA) think tank to warn that war may be on the horizon. In addition, he noted, a future war could include Syria and not only its proxy Hizbullah: in February, Syrian leaders said Syria would not “sit idly by” in case of another war with Israel.Syrian President Bashar Assad recently told visiting U.S. Senator John Kerry that Syria was not arming Hizbullah with the deadly weapons, but the American government was not convinced.
“These reports are unequivocally false and are a product of the Israeli government that is trying to speciously create a raised level of tension in the region to justify a future conflagration of violence on their part, or simply to divert attention from the real issue at hand: Israeli settlements and expansionism,” Syria's Washington embassy spokesman told Foreign Policy’s The Cable.
U.S. President Barack Obama, as part of his “engagement” policy, recently renewed official diplomatic relations with Syria even though the United States defines it as country that supports terror.
Iraq, which was under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein in 1991, pounded Israel, including metropolitan Tel Aviv, with 40 missiles (pictured at left). In what has been termed a Divine miracle, no one was killed by the explosions.