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Striking Syria By: David Bedein
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, October 06, 2003


While the people of Israel were in the midst of preparations for the solemn fast of Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, this year's observance of Yom Kippur has been overshadowed by nostalgic memories of the Yom Kippur War. The Yom Kippur War occurred exactly thirty years ago, when Yom Kippur also fell on October 6th.

In the midst of the nostalgic strategic discussions from thirty years ago, Arab terrorists struck at a Haifa restaurant, while Arab terror groups based in Syria, funded by Saudi Arabia, took to the airwaves to take credit for the murder of 19 more Israeli citizens - five of whom were Israeli Arabs. In Israel, it is as if the Yom Kippur War occurred yesterday.

Debate continues to rage in the Israeli media  as to whether Israel did the right thing by not abiding by the Moshe Dayan doctrine of carrying out a pre-emptive strike against enemy positions in the Arab countries, a policy that had been effect since the genesis of 1967 War.  Who can forget the Israeli air strikes in 1967 that broke the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran? Or the air strikes against PLO training camps that followed the Munich Olympic massacre in 1972?  Or the Israeli intelligence pursuit of  Arab terrorists all over the world after the Munich attack?

This time, after a hiatus of 20 years, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) invoked the dormant Dayan doctrine, as the Israeli Air Force struck the Ain Saheb Arab terror training base, 15 kilometers northwest of Damascus in Syria, on early Sunday, less than 24 hours after the Haifa attack.

The Canada-based Middle East News Line confirmed with Western intelligence sources that the Ain Saheb base has been used by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine for training of their members.

It would seem that this is the first stage of the renewal of the dormant Dayan doctrine, which was in effect between 1967 and 1973: To hit Arab terrorists at the source of their support: in the neighboring Arab states who remain in a state of war with Israel since 1948.

Syria is the first target to be hit, and Saudi Arabia may be next in line.

Over the past two months, IDF intelligence has been declassifying and publicizing an unprecedented amount of data concerning the current conventional and non-conventional military threat now being mounted by Saudi Arabia against the Jewish state.

Last week, the Israel Ministry of Public Security disclosed sensitive documents seized at the Palestinian Authority's Orient House two years ago that showed Saudi Arabia was officially offering financial incentives for the families of Palestinian Arab suicide bombers. The Saudi government gave $25,000 to each family from special allocations distributed by the Palestinian Authority at the Orient House. Israel informed  the U.S. government about the Saudi government's support for Palestinian terror groups back in April of 2002. However, at the request of the U.S. State Department, Israel had waited until now to disclose the documents to the public at large.

In terms of  IDF Commander-in-Chief Moshe Ya'alon's shared data with the media, it contends that al-Qaeda tried to recruit Saudi pilots for attacks in Israel [from nearby Tabuk]. Israel has complained to the U.S. that the presence of the American-supplied jets at Tabuk contravene promises America has made over the years about how they would be deployed at the time that they were sold by the USA to the Saudis. The Saudis have now said they will deploy the planes as they wish and America has so far opted to remain silent.

Ya'alon asserted that the al-Qaeda terrorist network tried to recruit Saudi Arabian Air Force pilots to carry out a suicide attack in Israel, similar to those carried out in the United States on September 11, 2001, using either F-15 jets or civilian aircraft. Speaking at a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya, Ya'alon said, "Leadership, whether it's in Damascus or Hezbollah  and Revolutionary Guard garrisons in Lebanon who support Palestinian terror cells here...should be held accountable. Ya'alon also stated that since the U.S.-led war in Iraq, "We are concerned by the deployment of Saudi planes in Tabuk, and from the information on al-Qaeda, and demand that the matter be investigated."
 
The Saudis confirmed Yaalon's assertion. "We do not have F-16s, but rather F-15s, stationed in Tabuk, and we will keep them there because they are deployed inside our territory," Prince Khaled said to the Saudi based Arab News Agency.
 
The U.S. intelligence community has made similar discoveries concerning Saudi Arabia's terror involvement.
 
Middle East News Line, relying on CIA reports, noted that the Saudis have been named as a leading financier of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. A CIA report on threats in Iraq has identified Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria as the leading supporters of the Sunni insurgency against the U.S. military. The report asserted that the three countries have contributed insurgents and funding to a range of groups, including al-Qaeda and Hizbullah. The report was disclosed by Kurdish sources in Iraq to the London-based Al Hayat daily. Al Hayat, owned by members of the Saudi royal family, reported in Auguest  that the CIA report cites the activities of major Islamic insurgency groups in Iraq and their state sponsors. The CIA report marked the first time that Saudi Arabia was specifically identified as a supporter of the Sunni insurgency in Iraq.
 
It's about time that Israel took action against Syria. If Saudi Arabia continues its present course of action, military action may be necessary there next.

David Bedein, author of the forthcoming book, "Swimming Against the Mainstream", has run the Israel Resource News Agency. www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com, since 1987, at the Beit Agron Press Center in Jerusalem, where he also heads the Center for Near East Policy Research and serves as the Middle East correspondent for the Philadelphia Bulletin, www.thebulletin.us.


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