TOP ISRAELI GENERAL WARNS SHARON TO STOP PREPARING FOR “SHORT, SHARP OFFENSIVE AGAINST SYRIA”
Israel’s former head of military intelligence, Major-General Shlomo Gazit, has broken ranks and taken the unprecedented step of warning Ariel Sharon to stop threatening Syria.
Gazit, now a respected elder of the Israeli intelligence community, spoke publicly in Tel Aviv last weekend.
He accused Sharon of running an “orchestrated campaign to incite and humiliate Damascus. It is only going to be a matter of time until the Syrians are unable to hold back and then the big blaze will begin”.
He cited as an example of the “jab, jab policy” of Sharon, the recent incident when Israeli fighter planes buzzed the palace of Basha al-Assad, the Syrian president.
Gazit’s blunt warning has sent a shock wave through Israel’s military command structure. Sharon’s cabinet office has dismissed Gazit as “someone out of touch with reality”.
“But the reality is that Sharon IS preparing for a short, sharp offensive against Syria”, insisted Gazit.
Support for this came only last Sunday when General Moshe Yaalon, chief of staff of the IDF, Israeli armed forces, also hinted at “further action” against Syria.
“If Damascus continues to ignore the message that Israel and other countries have sent to Syria, then it may be necessary to send messages of a different kind”, said Yaalon in an address to the faculty of Tel Aviv university.
The reference to “other countries” was intended to convey that Washington would support an attack on Syria”, Yaalon later admitted.
An hour after he had spoken, eight Israeli F-15 jets crossed the international border with Lebanon and flew over Beirut. There are 25,000 heavily armed Syrian troops in and around the city.
This was the latest incursion to deepen the crisis with Syria. Last month, F-15 jets dropped satellite-guided bombs on an empty Palestinian training base near Damascus. It was the first assault on the country’s soil in 30 years.