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      Assad Threatens Israel, US if NATO Attacks

      Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad threatened to 'rain missiles' on Tel Aviv if NATO or the US attacks Syria.
      By David Lev
      First Publish: 10/4/2011, 10:34 PM

      Iran's Fars news service quoted what it said was a conversation between Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad and Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in which Assad threatened to “shower Israel with rockets” if NATO or the U.S. attacks Syria.

      The conversation, says the report, took place in recent days. According to the report, Assad told Davutoglu that "if crazy action is taken against Damascus, I will withing 6 hours transfer hundreds of rockets and missiles to the Golan Heights to fire them at Tel Aviv," Assad said.

      Assad had a threat for the U.S. as well. Israel would be attacked immediately upon the Western attack on Syria, but withing several hours, “Iran will attack the U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf and the U.S. and European interests will be targeted simultaneously.”

      The report said that Assad's threats came as Davutoglu presented a message to the Syrian leader from the U.S. and NATO, saying that the international community would take action if Syria did not stop persecuting its citizens. Over 3,000 people are said to have been killed since March in ongoing protests in Syria against Assad's regime.

      Meanwhile, the London-based al-Sharq al-Awsat Arabic-language newspaper reported Tuesday that mass demonstrations had been held in all of Syria's principal cities Monday, in support of an announcement by the rebel Syrian National Council that it was setting up a shadow government in Istanbul, that would be ready to move into power as soon as Assad fell.

      During a protest in Damascus, a statue of former Syrian leader Hafez al-Assad was destroyed by a crowd of demonstrators – the first time this has happened in Damascus, the report said.

      Washington praised the establishment of the Council, the report added, quoting officials as saying that it was “the last nail in the coffin of Assad's regime, whose fall is imminent.”