John Bolton: Syria Won't Avenge Israeli Air Strike

Monday, 06 May 2013 07:24 PM

By Bill Hoffmann

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The Syrian government has condemned Israel for Sunday's deadly bombing raid on military targets, but don't expect retaliation anytime soon, former U.S. Ambassador John Bolton says.

"In terms of an actual Syrian response, I don’t see it,'' Bolton told "The Steve Malzberg Show'' on Newsmax TV.

Story continues below video.

Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Israel is so confident that Syria won't hit back, that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is continuing his scheduled visit to China.

"[That] is some indication that at the top of the Israeli government, they don’t expect too much more follow on here,'' he said.

"They did whatever they wanted to do in those two airstrikes and they don’t expect further development.''

Bolton, a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, said he believes Israel struck to stop Iranian-supplied arms from moving from the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria to the Islamist militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon.

"Israel's very concerned, and properly so, that Iran is continuing to build up Hezbollah's capability both to threaten Israel generally [and be] prepared to retaliate against Israeli civilians if Israel goes after Iran's nuclear weapons program,'' he said.

"The possibility of actual an Syrian government retaliation against Israel is pretty remote. … I don’t think Assad is crazy enough to risk a real Israeli strike against his positions.

"He’s obviously been shown to be powerless to stop the Israeli Air Force, and it's significant that they penetrated Syrian government air defenses as easily as they seem to have.''

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