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Will Assad’s Swan Song be War on Israel?

Syria is showing its muscle with war games, and an ex-IDF chief says the closer Assad's demise is, the greater the threat to Israel.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 12/5/2011, 12:02 PM

Scud missile -- aimed at Israel?
Scud missile -- aimed at Israel?
US Navy

Syria is showing its muscle Monday with war games, and Israeli Knesset Member Shaul Mofaz (Kadima), a former IDF Chief of Staff, said that the closer Syrian President Bashar Assad comes to his demise, the greater the threat to Israel.

“There is a reasonable possibility that in the twilight window of his regime, Assad will try to turn attention from the massacre of his citizens toward a confrontation with Israel." he warned.

Syria has surface-to-surface Scud missiles that can easily reach Israel, and an attack on Israel would most certainly be joined by Hizbullah, which along with pro-Syrian factions effectively dominates Lebanon.

Assad’s military fired missiles in a ground-air military exercise this past weekend that official Syria media was “similar to a real battle.” The government added that the war games show “the capabilities and the readiness of missile systems to respond to any possible aggression” and that the army is "ready to defend the nation and deter anyone who dares to endanger its security.”

Iran and Russia are virtually the only major countries who have not turned their backs on Assad, whose regime has murdered more than 3,000 protesters in the nine-month Arab Spring uprising.

His defiance has left him in a do-or-die situation among warnings from former friends, such as Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that he might meet the same fate as ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or Muammar Qaddafi, who met his end with a bullet in the head.

His brutal suppression of demonstrators was too much even for the Arab League, which is desperately trying to convince him to silence the guns and tanks wielded by his soldiers and secret police.