Syrian President Bashar Assad
Photo: AP
View of Damascus
Photo: Ron Ben-Yishai

Syrian parliament member says ‘Israel operation failed’

In special interview with Israeli-Arab newspaper Mohammad Habash calls IAF raid on Syria ‘failure’, says Israel must change policy, negotiate peace

“If Israel doesn’t change its policy, it will find itself going against Hizbullah in the north, Hamas in the south, and the Syrian army, which is allied with Iran,” Syrian parliament member Dr Mohammad Habash told the Israeli-Arab newspaper Kul-Alarab.


In a special interview to be published Friday, Habash confirmed that his country aided Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, and warned Israel that the situation had changed, and it could not continue to rely on the United States to protect it.


“When the Americans leave the area, Israel will be in a ridiculous position. That is why it’s trying to start fires here and there, in order to make use of the US military in the region.”


Habash also commented on the IAF’s attack near Dir a-Zour last September. “As you know, Dir a-Zour is close to the Iraqi border, where the American forces are. The point of the operation was to push the Americans into committing more crimes in the area.”


The Syrian parliament member added that his country was prepared for any situation, saying “the enemy will not be the one to decide for Syria the time and place of the confrontation.


“We won’t give the enemy the opportunity to set the date. We have an international obligation to choose peace as a strategic option, but we have other options. All of the options are ours to choose from.”


Habash also told Kul-Alarab that Syrian antiaircraft forces were capable of curbing an IAF attack. “I’m not a military expert, but Syria is in a state of alert and is completely militarily prepared.


“I’m not authorized to discuss the military, but it is clear that we have complete faith in the Syrian army, since our last encounter with the Zionists proved a big success we still take pride in. I’m referring to the October War, and the Israelis know it.”


Speaking of the Israel’s operation in Syria last month, Habash said, “All the signs show that Israel carried out a failed operation. Its planes took off with munitions, targets, and a plan, but were surprised by the Syria’s aerial defense forces, which forced them to drop the munitions over an unsettled area.


“Let me say, so the Israelis can hear: Hafez Assad ruled Syria for 30 years, and the biggest achievement he brought to Syria against Israel was the October War. I believe president Bashar is determined to free the Golan, and that is his strategic goal.


“Therefore, it is in Israel’s best interest to sit down to the negotiation table for peace,” Habash concluded.


פרסום ראשון: 10.04.07, 20:38
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