[On October 30, 1995, during his last presentation at the Israeli Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee before his assassination, the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin warned against the Syrian scud capability, as described below- DB]

Syria has acquired a new Scud missile with a 700 kilometer range that is capable of carrying a chemical warhead. This new missile has the entire State of Israel within its range.

The security establishment has been monitoring the Syrian army’s development and acquisitions of Scud D ballistic missiles. The missile, which was developed in conjunction with North Korea, is believed to have improved capabilities as opposed to its precursors, the Scud B and C, which the Syrian army has in stock.

“The missile’s warhead separates from the engine and, as a result, has a different trajectory. Anti-missile systems that are not prepared for that could be confused”, explained a security official.

Officials in the security establishment said they believed that Syria is not interested in escalating the situation with Israel or in clashing [militarily] with Israel.

“The Syrian army is relatively weaker than it used to be and with every day that passes the gap between us increases”, said the high-ranking security source.

“Syria has no interest in creating a conflict with the State of Israel, but they are interested in keeping Hizbullah on the back burner and on having it equipped with surface-to-surface rockets”, said the official. “If Bashar Assad convenes his general staff they will recommend that he take no action against Israel”.

Alongside of the Syrian development, the Israeli security establishment carefully monitors the investments being made across the Arab world, particularly in Iran (sic) and Libya, to develop and acquire long range ballistic missiles.

This appeared in Maariv on March 2, 2003