Syria has threatened it will “send Israel back to prehistoric times” if the Jewish state attacks it with unconventional weapons. Kuwaiti paper Al-Rai quoted on Saturday a source described as being close to the decision-making hub in Syria's leadership as saying that in case of an unconventional Israeli attack, “we will respond in kind.”
According to the Kuwaiti report, which was quoted by Ynetnews, the anonymous source said that Syria's strategy is based, among other things, upon the possibility of opening a wide front against Israel, from Rosh HaNikra in the west to the southern Golan Heights. This threat seems to imply that a ground offensive could be launched simultaneously from the Lebanese and Syrian borders with Israel.
The unnamed Syrian also boasted that his country could deliver 60 ballistic missiles and 600 tactical missiles per day into Israel. He threatened further that Syria could use sea-to-surface missiles against Israel civilian and military targets, including sea ports.
Sending Syria to 'stone age'?
Last week, an unidentified Israeli minister was quoted in London's Sunday Times as saying: “We’ll return Syria to the Stone Age by crippling its power stations, ports, fuel storage and every bit of strategic infrastructure if [Hizbullah] dares to launch ballistic missiles against us."
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said earlier this year that “If a war breaks out, the Assad dynasty will lose its power and will cease to reign in Syria.”
The concern in Israel is that Syria and Hizbullah might attack it if it attacks the Iranian nuclear program. Iran sponsors Hizbullah and has close ties with Syria. Israel would rather see the United States and its allies take care of the Iranian nuclear threat, but US President Barack Obama has been dragging his feet on the matter, and has repeatedly failed to respect deadlines he himself set for taking solid action against Iran.
Kara sends warning too
Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara warned Saturday that any Israeli action to remove the Iranian threat will not just involve hitting Iran – but also any element that might respond to the strike against Iran. “Israel's security is above all other considerations,” he said. “If Israel is attacked by an element supported by the Syrians there will be no avoiding a retaliatory attack on Syria, and I hope it elects to avoid such a provocation.”
Kara said Saturday that along with Syria's tough words, it is also showing “flexibility” on humanitarian and economic matters. In the coming weeks, he revealed, “a Druze delegation from the Golan Heights will be leaving [Israel] for negotiations with the Syrians on the supply of 200 million cubic meters of water from Syria to the Golan Heights. Israel will not be participating in this negotiation and it will be conducted between Syria and the Golan agriculturalists, regarding water reserves that are in the Syrian reservoirs and which are dumped back into the ground because Syria lacks the technology and means to transfer them to areas that suffer from a shortage.”
T-shaped pillar with relief depicting a fox at Göbekli Tepe, a stone-age site near the Turkey-Syria border / Creative Commons