Syria 'ready for possible regional war'

Syrian FM in Tripoli: "I hope to be a soldier in the resistance."

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August 6, 2006 16:06
1 minute read.
Syria 'ready for possible regional war'

syrian troops 298.88 AP. (photo credit: AP [file])

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Moallem crossed into Lebanon Sunday for the first visit by a top Syrian official in more than a year, Lebanon's state news agency said. Speaking to reporters after the meeting with his Lebanese counterpart, Fawzi Salloukh, Moallem said "Syria is ready for the possibility of a regional war if the Israeli aggression continues." He added that a US-French draft resolution to end the war "adopted Israel's point of view only." Underlining his support for Hizbullah, Moallem said, "as Syria's foreign minister I hope to be a soldier in the resistance." Salloukh said that "Israel cannot take in peace what it had failed to take in war." "If Israel attacks Syria by any mean, on the ground, by air, our leadership ordered the armed forces to reply immediately," he said after emerging from a meeting with Lebanese President Emil Lahoud. Israel has issued several pledges not to attack Syria. According to Moallem, the US-French cease-fire plan was "a recipe for the continuation of the war." Moallem's visit comes amid strained relations between Lebanon and Syria as a result of the Feb. 14, 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. A UN investigation has implicated several Syrian officials in the murder. Syria denied any involvement in the Hariri assassination that led to an international isolation of Damascus. Prompted by the crisis that followed Hariri's assassination, Syria withdrew its troops from Lebanon in April 2005, ending a 29-year military presence.


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