Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alleged Weapons Transfer Threatens Mideast Status Quo

By Charles Fromm

"WASHINGTON, Apr 16, 2010 (IPS) - This week, Israeli President Shimon Peres accused Syria of arming Lebanon's Hezbollah with long-range Scud missiles, possibly altering the current political and military dynamics of the region and affecting U.S. interests....

Some analysts believe this can all be traced back to the Golan Heights, the Syrian territory conquered by Israel during the 1967 war. Many analysts believe that Syria will end its support for Hezbollah only as part of a peace deal for the disputed land.

"Syria says it will no longer have any reason to arm Hezbollah once it gets the Golan back and can sign a peace agreement with Israel," wrote Syria analyst Joshua Landis Thursday on's the Middle East Channel.

"Syria understands that the reason Israel will not return the Golan Heights is because of the terrible imbalance in power between the two countries. So long as there is no peace, Syria will feel compelled to arm itself and its allies," Landis added.

CBS News quoted an intelligence analyst who spoke on the condition of anonymity as saying that if Syria was in fact transferring such advanced weapons to Hezbollah, "this would put pressure on Washington to move fast and bring Israel and Syria back to direct peace talks, frozen since 2000."....."

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