Syrian official says war with Israel will not be conventional

Former information minister: Terror resistance was the "method that opened before the Arabs the path to victory" and succeeded in defeating Israel.

Former Syrian information minister Mahdi Dakhlallah said Monday that if a war broke out with Israel, it would be a war of resistance and not a conventional war that Israel was accustomed to winning. The Syrian official's remarks confirmed fears in the Israeli defense establishment that Syria was preparing to use Hizbullah-like guerrilla warfare tactics in a future conflict. "I believe that if a war breaks out, it will not be a conventional war - the kind of war that Israel is used to winning swiftly," Dakhlallah, said in an interview on NBN TV which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). "It will be a war of resistance, in which the armed forces may be defending the rear lines of the resistance." According to Dakhlallah, terror resistance was the "method that opened before the Arabs the path to victory" and succeeded in defeating Israel. President Bashar Assad has said that resistance appears to be the only way to liberate the Golan Heights. "When Israel [fought] armies, it reached Beirut and the outskirts of Damascus, but ever since the Arabs have begun using resistance, the Israelis are building a security wall to hide behind," he said. "They are the ones who say it is a security wall. Therefore, even though I don't know the scenario of this war, I know it will definitely not be a conventional war." Senior officers in the Northern Command warned recently of the possibility that Syria would launch terror attacks along the border in an effort to draw Israel into a conflict. The officers pointed to the large amounts of money Syria had invested in replicating Hizbullah military tactics, particularly in establishing additional commando units and fortifying its short and long-range missile array. Syria, the IDF has warned, had also built fake villages along the border that could be used to draw Israel into an asymmetric war like the that which the IDF encounters in combat against the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as well as against the Hizbullah in Lebanon.