Syria Deterred: Assad Got the Message

[Ynet News] Guy Bechor - Hizbullah's success in paralyzing the north of Israel for over a month last summer left Bashar Assad with his mouth agape: He saw this as proof that Israel could be defeated. This is why Assad has expedited Syria's rearmament campaign in the past year. Since the war in Lebanon, the IDF has significantly boosted its preparedness level on the Golan Heights, holding a series of publicized, large-scale exercises. These have led to an important development. The Syrians have been deterred. The rules of the game have been reset. Israel made it clear to the Syrians that if Assad thinks that an attack on Israel's sovereignty would be met with the hesitant responses that characterized the last war, he is mistaken. The IDF is an army positioned at the gates of Damascus, and not the other way around. Hence, an attack on Israel could spell the end of the minority Alawite regime in Damascus. The discourse in the media as to the Syrians' intentions also added to the dimension of deterrence because there will be no element of surprise as there was in the 1973 war.

2007-08-03 01:00:00

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