'Embattled Assad may start conflict with Israel'

Mofaz says real possibility that Assad will try to engage Israel militarily in order to deflect attention from massacre.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 5, 2011 10:32
1 minute read.
Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz

Shaul Mofaz 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz warned Monday that the duress which Syrian President Bashar Assad finds himself under could soon lead to an armed conflict between Syria and Israel.

"The closer the Assad regime in Syria gets to death's door, the bigger the threat against Israel becomes," the Kadima Mk stated in an interview with Army Radio.

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"It can be reasonably assumed that in the twilight of his rule, Assad will try to deflect attention from the massacre of his own people by starting a conflict with Israel," Mofaz added.

Mofaz's comments came after the Syrian army tested cutting-edge missiles over the weekend.

Israeli military sources said Sunday that the missile test was aimed at showing the international community what the beleaguered Assad regime is capable of.

Saturday’s test in northeastern Syria included 300-kilometer range Scud B missiles fired towards the Iraqi border.



IDF sources said the show of strength, broadcast live on Syrian TV, was not necessarily intended to intimidate Israel, but rather any Western powers contemplating military intervention in Syria.

Western countries have been reluctant to speak openly about a Libya-style intervention in Syria, but the mounting death toll has led some policymakers to consider more drastic measures to stem the bloodshed.

Oren Kessler contributed to this report.

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