Haaretz, citing Israeli military sources, reported April 2 that the Israeli Defense Forces are preparing for the possibility of a Syrian attack on the Golan Heights that will start as a result of a “miscalculation” on the part of the Syrians. The Israelis supposedly fear that the Syrians fear Israel is planning to strike Syria and Lebanon simultaneous with US strikes on Iran. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was reportedly appraised of the hair-trigger situation when he visited IDF forces in the North last week.
The tensions come as US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is in Damascus to meet with Bashar Assad. Tom Lantos, the chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs who accompanied Pelosi, said Assad should be given a final opportunity to disengage from the “axis of evil.”
Lantos said that in a few years, Sunni Muslims and not Iran under Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will be in control in the region, and it is to the advantage of Damascus to know which side to be on.
This rather vindicates what we have been saying about a tilt back to the Sunnis in Washington.
Bush, of course, condemned Pelosi’s visit as supportive of a “state sponsor of terror.” (AlJazeera, April 4)