June 3, 2013 | Quote
Assad: Arab World Ready to Join Fight Against Israel
Syrian President Bashar Assad told Al-Manar TV on Thursday that “there is pressure by the people to open a new front on the Golan.”
“Even among the Arab world there is a clear readiness to join the fight against Israel,” he added in his interview with the Hezbollah TV station.
Assad stated that Hezbollah is involved in fighting the Israeli enemy and its agents in Syria and Lebanon, according to the text of the interview on the Al-Manar website. He attributed the failure of the Syrian opposition to its dependence on outside funding and said that it failed to create a real rift in the country.
But, he said, Israeli officials led him to believe they would act in response to a direct threat.
Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told The Jerusalem Post from Washington on Thursday night, “Assad would be off his rocker if he were to start a war with Israel right now and he knows it.”
Assad is barely containing the war in his own country and “the idea that he would add a war with Israel makes no sense,” he said.
This seems to be more rhetoric, he said adding a caveat that things could change.
Asked by the Post about the feeling in Washington over the increasing tensions in the region over the past couple weeks, Schanzer said that it has definitely been noticed in the US capital.
“There is a sense that no good options are left for the US to pursue – a sense of paralysis,” he added. There seems to be a growing isolationist tendency in both parties.
He also said that Hezbollah has a lot to lose if it goes to war with Israel now, because it is stretched thin as they have 3,000-4,000 fighters in Syria. Schanzer concluded, “If Israel is able to confirm that they have the S-300 on the ground, I can’t see them remaining there for more than 24 hours.”