Jan Mikael (14 Dec 2010)
"A7News: Syria Told Iran: 'We're Too Weak' to Help You Fight Israel"

Syria Told Iran: 'We're Too Weak' to Help You Fight Israel
by Gil Ronen Wikileak: Syria Brushed Off Iran

Tehran asked Syria one year ago to say that it would join Iran and its proxy militia, Hizbullah, in case of a war with Israel, but Syria refused. According to JTA, this information is included in a US diplomatic cable made public by Wikileaks.

The cable from the US embassy in Syria is dated Dec. 22, 2009, and is one of thousands published by WikiLeaks in recent weeks. It relates to a visit to Syria by four high-level Iranian officials and the signing of a defense memorandum of understanding between the two countries.


"Syria reportedly resisted Iranian entreaties to commit to joining Iran if fighting broke out between Iran and Israel or Hizbullah and Israel," said the cable, which was signed by Chuck Hunter, the charge d'affaires at the U.S. embassy in Syria.


The cable quoted a source whose identity has been redacted:


"XXXXXXXXXXXX said Iranian officials were in Syria 'to round up allies' in anticipation of an Israeli military strike. 'It (an Israeli strike on Iran) is not a matter of if, but when,' XXXXXXXXXXXX said, reporting what Syrian officials had heard from their Iranian counterparts. The Syrian response was to tell the Iranians not to look to Syria, Hezbollah or Hamas to 'fight this battle.' 'We told them Iran is strong enough on its own to develop a nuclear program and to fight Israel,' he said, adding, 'we’re too weak.' The Iranians know Syria has condemned Israeli threats and would denounce Israeli military operations against Iran. 'But they were displeased with [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad’s response. They needed to hear the truth,' XXXXXXXXXXXX said."


JTA said that while the Iranian visit to Syria was touted at the time as a signal of Syrian support for Iran in its showdown with the West, the cable “notes signs and reports that the Syrians were not eager to receive their guests.”

The Syrian government timed visits from French and Turkish dignitaries to coincide with the period of the Iranians' visit. The presidential spokeswoman discussed the other visits in a press conference but “barely touched on the Iranians.”