JPost.com Oct. 6, 2007
Syria will not hesitate to start a war with Israel in order to restore its control over the Golan Heights, A-Baath, the official newspaper of President Bashar Assad's government, warned Saturday.
In an article to mark 34 years since the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, A-Baath said: "Our people and our leadership are determined to liberate our conquered lands using all means, methods and ways."
Meanwhile, ABC News quoted American officials as saying that the IAF raid in Syria during September was planned for several months and was postponed a number of times due to heavy US pressure.
According to the report, Israel presented US officials with satellite imagery which clearly showed North Korean nuclear technology in a Syrian facility. According to a US source, Washington officials were astonished by the imagery and by the fact US intelligence had not picked up on the facility previously.
"Israel tends to be very thorough about its intelligence coverage, particularly when it takes a major military step, so they would not have acted without data from several sources," said ABC News military consultant Tony Cordesman.
A different source told ABC News that Israel had planned the strike as early as July 14, and in confidential meetings with high ranking US officials, debated over the appropriate response. Several officials supported Israel's decision to strike, although others, led by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, firmly opposed it and offered to publicly condemn Syria for operating a nuclear facility instead.
US officials who initially opposed the raid, according to ABC , apparently feared the negative influence it might have over the whole region. Consequently, officials in Washington persuaded Israel to push back the raid, but in September, Israel feared that information about the facility might be leaked to the press, and went ahead with the strike, despite objections by Washington.