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Assad (L) with Hezbollah's Nasrallah
Photo: AP
Syria threatens to send Israel back to 'prehistoric times'
Source close to leadership in Damascus responds to Israeli threats, tells Kuwait newspaper Syria continuously upgrading military capabilities. Hezbollah: We possess arms that can hit deep in Israel

Syria has threatened to "send Israel back to the era of prehistoric man" if the Jewish state attacks it with unconventional weapons.

 

A source close to decision-makers in Damascus was quoted by Kuwaiti newspaper al-Rai on Saturday as saying that "If Israel uses unconventional weapons, we'll respond in a similar fashion."

 

Earlier this week, an Israeli minister told the Sunday Times that Syria would be "sent back to the Stone Age" if Hezbollah launches ballistic missiles.

 

The Syrian official said Damascus has upgraded its military capabilities and has prepared for a number of possible scenarios in case a war against Israel breaks out.

 

"Despite the fact that Syria has been outside the cycle of war since 1973, it did not sit idly by for even one day and is still working to develop its capabilities via missiles," he was quoted by the Kuwait paper as saying.

 

The official said Syria has drawn lessons from Hezbollah's "success" during the Second Lebanon War and has since then developed "advanced methods of warfare."

 

'War could break out tomorrow'

The Syrian source said Damascus' wartime strategy is based in part on the possibility of opening a broad front against Israel – from Rosh Hanikra to the Golan Heights. In addition, said the official, Syria is capable of launching 60 ballistic missiles deep into Israeli territory if the Jewish state will "dare to try and undermine Damascus' sovereignty."

 

"Syria can also launch 600 short-range tactical missiles into Israel in one day," he said, while detailing plans to attack Israel's coastline if a war breaks out. In this framework, he said, Syrian forces would employ sea-to-surface missiles against Israeli civilian and military targets, including ports.

 

The official did not address claims that Syria was transferring Scud missiles to Hezbollah in Lebanon.

 

Hezbollah political bureau member Ghaleb Abu Zainab said during an interview with NBN television on Friday that his group does not need Scud missiles to defend Lebanon.

 

“The resistance possesses arms that can reach deep into Israel,” Abu Zainab said, adding that Hezbollah is completely ready to confront the Jewish state.

 

According to Abu Zainab, Washington and Jerusalem are using their accusations of the Scud transfer to attempt to divert attention away from Israel’s "violations" in the Palestinian territories.

 

Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem said Saturday, "We are ruling out the possibility of an imminent (Israeli) attack, but the resistance is operating under the assumption that a war could break out tomorrow – so that we will not be caught by surprise in any way."

 

Another senior Hezbollah figure, Lebanese Agriculture Minister Hussein al-Hajj Hassan, said Saturday that allegations made by the US and the "Zionist enemy" regarding the Scud missile transfers are aimed at "applying pressure on Syria, Lebanon and the resistance.

 

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