THE METHOD HAFEZ ASSAD—father of current Syrian president, Bashir—used to muzzle the press against publishing stories considered by Damascus as “unfriendly to Syria” was by shooting the journalists. Reuter correspondent Bernd Debusman was shot in the back four times as he walked home in Beirut. His crime was that he mentioned that Assad belonged to the minority Alawite Muslim sect. The Alawites comprise only 12 percent of Syria’s population, but hold 100 percent of the power. Syrian journalists—Salim Lawzi, Ali Jundi, Riyad Taha, Salah Bitar and Michel Nimri—serving as foreign correspondents, wrote about Assad’s tight control and about the ruling Alawite minority. They were “all subsequently murdered in Beirut, Paris, and Athens.”

The world’s leaders, the United Nations and the news media, also overlook the Syrian army’s killing of the 20,000 people in Hama with cyanide gas before bulldozing the city under a mound of dirt. They also choose to overlook the Syrian murder-by-execution of hundreds of bound Christian army officers in Lebanon. And they choose to overlook the fact that Syria hosts 10 terror groups which it allows to operate openly and freely. Ahmed Jibril—the father of techno-terrorism—“commander of one of the most lethal terrorist organizations to emerge on the international scene,” was a Syrian army officer and part of Syrian intelligence, a branch of Hafez Assad’s presidency. Jibril’s office was not far from the Damascus office of Islamic Jihad, the terror group responsible for catastrophic bombing of Israeli civilians. After its bombing in January 1995, which left 21 Israelis dead and more than 60 wounded, Damascus admitted that Islamic Jihad was based in Syria, but said its intention was, according to the Jerusalem Post, was only to “just let them let off a little steam.”

Overlooked is the Syrian war-by-proxy against Israel. Via its proxy, Hizb’allah, together with other terror groups operating against Israel in Lebanon, Syria wages war. The terror groups are almost totally dependent on their Syrian “host,” which provides training, logistics and weapons. Syria, which also allows Iranian weapons to pass freely through Damascus airport on their way to terror groups in Lebanon, says, “Armed resistance to Israel is a legitimate act that will continue until Israel withdraws from all occupied Arab land.” And Voice of Israel Radio reported that Assad had told Israel in January 1995, that the late Yitzhak Rabin’s concept of building a fence around the occupied territories will not stop the violence, neither will individual peace agreements with Arab states—they are time-bombs waiting to explode. Syria “totally rejects Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel,” and “vehemently objects” to Jordan’s.

Also overlooked is Syria’s multi-billion dollar drug trade. A report by the US House of Representatives Subcommittee on Crime and Criminal Justice detailed the Syrian drug connection. Under Syrian military rule, the area in the Lebanese Beqa’a valley devoted to drug cultivation has risen from 10 percent to 90 percent. “Almost 20 percent of the heroin consumed in America originates in Lebanon.” Cocaine and heroin paste “are shipped through Damascus airport to the Beqa’a valley, where refineries have cropped up like poppies.” At least “four tons of heroin and large quantities of cocaine found their way last year from these refineries to Europe, adding billions of dollars of revenues to support

terrorism.” Hafez Assad’s brother, Rifaat, was “intimately connected with drug traffickers,” as was Assad’s “Defense Minister Mustafa Tlass; General Ali Dubah, Commander of Syrian Military Intelligence; and General Ghazi Kenaan, Commander of Syrian Military Intelligence in Lebanon.” Hafez Assad’s drug production directly killed “over 35,000 young Americans every year,” but former President Clinton, totally aware of all the facts, was “fascinated to be meeting with that somewhat notorious character.”

Syria’s President Hafez Assad said he wanted peace with Israel, but gave sanctuary to 10 terror groups dedicated to Israel’s destruction. Assad wanted peace, but controlled one of the world’s largest drug organizations providing funds for international terrorism against Jews. Assad wanted peace, but was producing thousands of chemical warheads. Assad wanted peace, but was manufacturing biological weapons en masse in a factory near Haleb. Assad wanted peace, but was constructing factories to produce and assemble his own advanced Scud missiles. Assad wanted peace, but signed “a strategic cooperation agreement with Iran for developing and producing nuclear weapons.” Assad wanted peace, but built an enormous military machine parallel with his “peace talks” with Israel.

It was noted by the head of IDF Northern Command, that Syria has “doubled and in some cases tripled it armor, artillery and helicopter forces” since its surprise 1973 Yom Kippur attack upon Israel. The Syrian army is three times larger than when it launched its 1973 attack. Syria has amassed over 4,000 tanks compared to 1,680 at the time of the Yom Kippur War, and now has a vast array of missiles such as advanced Scuds which can strike deep into Israel with chemical warheads. Syria has acquired advanced warplanes and air-defense systems that are among the most sophisticated in the world.

Did Hafez Assad, or his son Bashir, the current head of the Assad dynasty, want true peace? Never! Hafez Assad offered Mohammed’s peace in an attempt to regain the strategic Golan Heights; after that would come war. Bashir Assad offers Israel nothing apart from belligerence while furnishing sophisticated Russian and Iranian weapons to Hizb’allah.

To be continued

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