Sharon brands Syrian president 'dangerous'
"He is dangerous because his judgement is defective. During the war in Iraq, he proved he does not have the ability to reach the right conclusions from relatively obvious facts," he said.Updated: Apr 15, 2003 13:13 IST
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon described Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as "dangerous" in a newspaper interview on Tuesday because he could misjudge the balance of power between their countries.
"Bashar Assad is dangerous because he is capable of making the same error over the balance of forces with Israel as he made with the Americans, and he has a force which obeys his orders: Hezbollah," Lebanon's Shiite Muslim militia, Sharon told Yediot Aharonot.
"He is dangerous because his judgement is defective. During the war in Iraq, he proved he does not have the ability to reach the right conclusions from relatively obvious facts," he said.
"All those who considered the facts (before the war) could have known that Iraq would lose. But Assad thought the United States was going to lose," the prime minister said.
Syria openly opposed the US-led war to topple Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
Damascus has since come under mounting US pressure and allegations over weapons of mass destruction, for harbouring Saddam regime members and its support for radical anti-Israeli groups.
Sharon said Israeli security services had information hat Iraqi regime members on the run had taken refuge in Syria and that Baghdad had transferred banned weaponry to its western neighbour.
The aim was "to hide them from the eyes of the United States" or to arm Hezbollah, he said.
First Published: Apr 15, 2003 13:13 IST