A senior IDF official was quoted by Israel Radio Wednesday as having said that "Needless prattle can lead to a military escalation with Syria." The official also said that, according to intelligence reports, Damascus had no intention to start a war with Israel. The official also criticized various institutions for "creating a wartime atmosphere and a misleading feeling that there were preparations for a violent conflict either on the Israeli side or on the Syrian side."
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"This wartime atmosphere has nothing to do with reality or with the assumptions of army intelligence," the official said. "It may cause a crisis in itself."
"In the past, unnecessary chatter caused military escalations that were not in keeping
with the wishes of the leadership."
Israel Radio also reported that, according to officials in the security establishment,
Syria feared an early strike by Israel despite pacifying messages Israel has tried to
convey to Syria through a variety of channels.
These sources said that Syria had redeployed their forces as a result of these fears, but emphasized that its maneuvers were purely defensive.