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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

[Israel] MI chief: Syria lowering war readiness

MI chief: Syria lowering war readiness
Speaking at Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Military
Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin says although Hizbullah is engaged in
internal conflict, it continues to rearm and is not disarmed by UNIFIL.
Syria, however, has lowered its alert level, he says
Miri Chason YNET Published: 01.09.07, 13:14,7340,L-3350198,00.html

Syria  is slowly but surely lowering its readiness for war after a military
beef up along the border with Israel, head of Military Intelligence
Maj.-Gen. Amos Yadlin told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee
on Tuesday.

Yadlin however painted a dim picture of the situation in Lebanon, telling
committee members that Syria and Iran continue to rearm Hizbullah and that
the United Nations peacekeeping force is doing nothing to disarm the
guerilla group.

Last month the head of research at the Military Intelligence told the
committee that Syrian President Bashar Assad 's peace overtures towards
Israel are genuine.

His remarks contradicted an assessment by Mossad Chief Meir Dagan who
rejected Assad's declarations as attempts to gain international legitimacy.

Yadlin said however that the Shiite group is preoccupied with internal
politics and war with Israel is not its priority.

"Hizbullah is rehabilitating the tens of thousands of Shiites and focusing
on the political struggle for the Lebanese presidency. However, we need to
be wary, because there will be a second round but it is not clear when,"
committee member and Likud MK Silvan Shalom said.

Likud MK Yuval Steinitz told committee members: "My impression . is that the
clouds are black and are assembling above the Middle East and Israel.
Hizbullah is gaining strength in the north and in the south Hamas is
becoming stronger with clear Egyptian assistance and to the east we have

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