Syria Monitors IDF on the Golan

Ad Feedback - GOLAN HEIGHTS, Israel - Syria monitored a wide-scale Israel Defense Forces (IDF) military exercise on the Golan Heights Tuesday.

"The Syrian leadership has undertaken emergency preventive and deterrent measures, fearing that Israel will turn the military exercise in the Golan Heights to an attack against Syria," the Qatari-based al Wattan paper reported Wednesday, quoting Syrian officials.

"The risk of such drills lies in the fact that they take place near the cease-fire line with Syria and also because Defense Minister Ehud Barak and IDF Chief of [General] Staff [LT. General] Gabi Askenazi came to supervise them personally," other Syrian officials reportedly told the paper.

According to George Jabour, an advisor to the Syrian President Bashar Assad, there was a connection between Russia's military offensive on Georgia and the IDF's exercise.

"The exercise is a provocation against Syria's peaceful intentions," Jabour said, concluding that the US may have advised Israel to "heat up" the Golan in response to Russian aggression.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media carried reports this week of the Defense establishment's close attention to the transfer of Iranian weapons across Syria's border to the Lebanese-based Hezbollah terror group, which the defense minister said may "tip the balance" of deterrence.

Barak said Israel was readying itself for every eventuality.

Source: The Jerusalem Post

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