A Syrian lawmaker said his country wants war with Israel. Mohammed Habash, who spoke to Al-Jazeera on Monday as part of Arab commemorations of the 40th anniversary of the Six -Day War, said the Syrians wanted to use force to retake the Golan Heights. “The Syrian street wants to restore the Golan,” Habash said. But he noted recent peace overtures by Bashar Assad’s regime in Damascus and said that if there is a new conflict, it would be Israel’s doing. “The Israeli government feels threatened and is liable to create new tensions, even war, just to survive,” Habash said. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has played down talks of a new round of fighting with Syria after last year’s inconclusive war against its Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah. Israeli officials said that Habash’s statements, unusual for a country that controls public discourse, indicated Syria was engaging in brinkmanship.
Syrian lawmaker talks of war