By Sami Moubayed
"......Israel also declared that one of its famous units, the Golan Brigade, had just completed intensive training in war games. Guy Hazoot, the officer in charge of the 91st Division deployed along the border with Lebanon, noted: "The worst case is war, and we have to be prepared for the worst case."
The Jerusalem Post added that if war were to break out with Syria, it would be many times worse for Israel than its confrontation with Hezbollah in 2006. While all of that was coming out of Israel, raising red alerts, there were also contradicting gestures by Israeli officials.
One came from deputy chief of staff of the IDF, Major-General Moshe Kaplinsky, who said: "I hear the voice, but to the best of our assessment, which is also my personal assessment, we do not expect a war this summer from Syria." Israel's mobilization on the Syrian border was in response to Syrian troop movements, he added, calling it a "defensive" measure.
United Press International, however, quoted "well-informed sources in Washington" saying that a "confrontation between Syria and Israel may happen this summer". This was echoed by Dennis Ross, a Middle East envoy of the era of US president Bill Clinton, who was quoted in the online version of Yediot Aharonot as saying there was a serious "risk" of war between both countries, adding, "The Syrians are positioning themselves for war."
At this stage, all options are on the table, although a political decision for war has not been reached by either country because war would be devastating to the already troubled Middle East......."