Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Shara
Photo: AP

Syria says Israel wants to make excuses for war

Syrian vice president says Syrian not interested in war with Israel 'in distant or near future,' accuses Jerusalem of spreading false reports

Syria accused Israel on Saturday of making excuses for war by spreading false reports that an Israeli air raid targeted a site linked to weapons of mass destruction.


Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Shara said his country did not want war "in the distant or near future".


"They (Israel) are making up things to justify an aggression in the future. They are playing on public opinion to mislead it," he said, describing the reports as fabrications. "Everything reported about this raid is wrong and is part of a psychological warfare that will not fool Syria," Shara told reporters after meeting his Iraqi counterpart Adel Abdul-Mahdi.


Damascus says Israel launched the air raid on Sept. 6, bombing an empty area after air defence systems confronted the aircraft. Some US officials have linked the raid to apparent Israeli suspicions of secret nuclear cooperation between Damascus and North Korea.


Diplomats in Damascus say at least four Israeli warplanes crossed deep into Syria in this month's operation. They suggest the intended target may have involved missiles supplied by North Korea but played down reports of a nuclear link.


Israel has said nothing about the raid, which Shara said caused no casualties. Damascus and North Korea have denied any nuclear cooperation.


Shara said the raid was also aimed at boosting the morale of the Israeli military, which failed to crush the Lebanese movement Hizbullah, an ally of Syria, in last year's war.


"They want to rehabilitate the Israeli army after the Lebanese resistance broke it. But what Israel needs is to rehabilitate the Israeli mind, only then will a real opportunity for genuine peace be created," he said.


Syria and Israel are formally at war. Peace talks between them collapsed in 2000 over the scope of an Israeli pullout from the Golan Heights, a plateau which the Jewish state captured from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.


פרסום ראשון: 09.29.07, 14:28
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