According to the Al-Rai newspaper in Kuwait, high-ranking sources say that Western nations have requested Israel to exercise restraint over possible retaliation from the Syrian regime and its allies to a Western military strike. Israel responded that it would bear any strike consequences, however, within reason, and it will not stand idle if Syria’s reaction went too far. The sources said: “A joint operations room will be established to assess possible reactions from Syria and consequent responses”.
According to the newspaper, high-ranking officials from the European Union’s Foreign Affairs and Security Policy said that, “a clear message had been reported to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to advise him against retaliating against the upcoming military strike by targeting Israel.” The officials noted that, “Assad understands the military strike is in response to the chemical weapons attack against civilians near Damascus. The strike does not aim at influencing the balance of power in Syria or at eliminating the regime but to push everyone to the negotiations table before the end of the year.”
The sources pointed out that, “Syria’s Foreign Minister, Walid Muallem, described surprises, hinting at possible retaliations. Such responses will not make any difference. Decision makers in the International community are well informed of the Syrian leadership ‘secrets’. Sources close to the Assad family are frequently communicating with us and they are displeased with Assad’s behaviours and attitudes, which could slide Syria into suicide. “
The sources, who asked not to be named, also said that, “Assad has been informed through friendly channels that it is not in his interest to attack Israel. Such a significant development would push the battle onto an unnecessarily destructive path. If the situation in Syria does not head towards ending the war, the coming phase will be more painful and more destructive. It is likely to lead to the division of Syria into smaller states. The biggest losers would be Christians and Kurds if the Al-Qaida affiliated ‘Islamic state in Iraq and Sham’s’ movement assumes power in the northern regions.”
The sources excluded “an attack against the chemical weapons sites in Syria because of the enormous dangers that may result from such an attack. A military strike against the Assad regime and its potential aftermath has been discussed during several meetings of senior military officials from concerned countries. The meetings discussed potential reactions from both Syria and Iran.” The sources pointed out that, “Israel has agreed to a strategic strike against Assad that does not end the regime.”