05 October 2007

Reviewing the Syrian Bombing 4: Speculation and breakthrough

With everybody quiet about what had happened in northern Syria, apart from the dropping of "fuel tanks", journalist-analysts were able to get into gear and engage in speculation. A Syrian writer produced an interesting article giving a wider background to Syrian-Israeli friction, and offered three scenarios, none of which has proven to be correct. (Avid readers of such columns should take heed.) More interestingly, he suggested that
There has been much speculation about an outbreak of hostilities between Damascus and Israel since June. Both countries had been mobilizing troops, raising the prospects of war, until Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak came out one week before the military operation saying his country was going to withdraw its troops from the Golan border.

Now that was news. I don't always follow what's going on in the Middle East as closely as one might, but I wasn't aware of any mobilization going on.

However, on 12 September, one was to receive the first indication of what now appears to have happened. The story was attributed to anonymous Israeli sources. Interestingly, however, while the Israelis refer to a missile base, the source of the rumour that nuclear materials were involved, according to the article I have linked, was American - The New York Times.

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