DEBKAfile Exclusive: Syrian Civil Defense Services Placed on the Ready
October 12, 2007, 12:50 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syrian forces stay calm on the front line
Our military sources report exclusively that Thursday night, Oct. 11, Syria placed its civil defense services on a state of preparedness and mobilized their reservists.
Government and military hospitals across Syria have also been alerted.
These measures were ordered Tuesday, Oct. 9, and were in place within three days. In contrast, there is no change in the deployment of Syrian forces along the border with Israel on Golan and Mt. Hermon.
Thursday, Syrian defense minister Gen. Hassan Turkmani published a message to the armed forces calling for “readiness to withstand all aggression.”
A day earlier, the Syrian chief of staff, Gen. Ali Habib, said at an officers’ passing-out parade: “Syria is capable of beating off any conspiracies” against the country.
All these measures and this rhetoric strongly indicate the Syrian regime is convinced that either an American or Israeli assault, or attacks by both against Syria and Iran are due shortly.
Syrian president Bashar Assad articulated this fear in an interview published by the Tunisian daily Al-Shorouk Thursday. He said: I am working on the premise that the Americans will attack Iran,” explaining that this was the answer he received when he asked the Iranians how they evaluated the situation.
DEBKAfile’s sources note that the only two Iranian personalities he would have talked to would be supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei or president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Assad went on to say to the Tunisian interviewer: This means we are facing a force (the Americans) which has no respect for international laws and values, exactly as in Iraq. The United States,” he continued,” backs the enemy Israel absolutely which prevents us from perceiving the US in any other light that an enemy.”
An attack on Iran will harm the whole world but as we have seen in the Iraq War, the Americans do not enter into such calculations. “I cannot play games of anticipation,” said the Syrian ruler. “I must be ready for any US or Israeli operation against Iran or Syria.”