Israeli sources say war imminent; Iran and Syria next

UMMAFNews, News From Around The Muslim World


"Sources in the Israeli defense establishment expect a Bush administration assault o­n Iraq within weeks, if not days.

Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Yaalon .. states that an attack on Iraq would spark a geopolitical 'earthquake' in the region, following which the US would target Iran and Syria.

Yaalon's comments somewhat echoed statements made several days earlier by a Pakistani opposition leader. Qazi Hussain Ahmed, an official of the Islamic political coalition Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal, claimed that the US would target Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan after Iraq.

Prof Edward Ghareeb, a US university professor and lecturer at the Washington-based International Peace Centre, believes that Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia are all eventual targets of the Bush Administration.

Ghareeb cites an administration policy document composed in the aftermath of Sept 11 that suggests the US will work to prevent the emergence of any strong country in the Southwest Asian region except Israel and Turkey, and will use Iraq to lessen the US dependence for oil on countries now seen as unreliable, such as Saudi Arabia.

A Gulf News columnist, George Hishmeh, also believes that Iran is likely a post-Iraq target, especially since the US and Israel fear that Iran may now independently develop nuclear bombs. Hishmeh thinks that Syria is in the crosshairs as well.

Ha'aretz quotes unnamed Israeli defense officials in describing President Bush as being 'on a mission from god.' .... The same sources downplayed the possibility of Saddam going into exile, and thus averting a war, as 'practically nil.'

Another Ha'aretz report says that the Israeli Defense Forces have been "constantly" preparing for an attack o­n Iraq, but the measures have proceeded quietly in order "to prevent panic.".