According to the officials, Assad realizes that a potential Western assault would be a response to his army's use of chemical weapons and not as a means to affect the current balance of power in Syria.
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Assad reportedly used diplomatic back channels to convey that he does not intent to attack Israel as this would lead the Syrian campaign to uncharted territory.
It was further reported that Western nations asked Israel to exercise restraint in case of an assault by Assad or other "actors" supporting him. According to the report, Israel has made it clear it will not sit idly if there will be an excessive response.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported that Assad's forces appear to have evacuated most personnel from army and security command headquarters in central Damascus in preparation for a Western military strike.
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