Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Reuters

Israel sent a message to Syrian President Bashar Assad in recent days, warning him that if he started a war with the Jewish state in order to divert attention from domestic problems, Israel will target him personally, Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported on Tuesday.

According to the report, the personal warning was sent through Turkey following intelligence reports of unusual Syrian troop movements, including the moving of long-range ballistic missiles that could be used to target Israel.

The report added that the Israeli Defence Force has increased its preparedness on the northern border out of fear that Hezbollah may attempt to stage another kidnapping of soldiers or civilians along the Lebanese border.

Last month, following deadly attempts to breach Syria's border with Israel, US-based Syria experts accused the Assad regime of being behind the Naksa Day protests on the Israeli border in order to distract from the prolonged uprising challenging Syria's rulers.

"It's almost a cliché - this is what he always does. He's under pressure at home, so he deflects attention," Andrew Tabler, a Syria expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy said. During the 2006 Second Lebanon War, "it was by rallying the people around resistance to Israel, and this time it's with the Palestinian cause. This is not going to work."

Government sources on various continents also accused Assad of at least enabling, if not spurring the deadly protests that turned into the most volatile clashes on the Golan border since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Speculations have recently been rising as the region is still surfing through a vague of unrest. Analysts are anxious Assad could use a direct attack on Israel to divert attention from the protests in his own country. He could also use a conflict with the neighbouring state as a way to try and mobilise the people to stand by and support his government.

Observers have also said that the international community was so reluctant to intervene in Syria because they were fears amongst Israeli Defence Forces that Bashar Al-Assad would turn to Israel for retaliation.

Reports also alleged that the Syrian leader could use the thousands of ballistic missiles Syria has manufactured over the years, as well as an extensive chemical arsenal, bolstered as a replacement for the nuclear reactor Israel destroyed in 2007.

At the same time, analysts also cited the weapons as a source of worry, as if the leader was forced to step down, which now seems increasingly unlikely, many countries are scared the ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons could fall in even more volatile hands and send the whole region into turmoil.

Israel is also said to be alarmed by the latest development in Lebanon and Iran, which it sees as Syria's partners in crime.

Recently, Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour, visited Tehran and praised Iran's role in "peace and security in the region," and both the Lebanese and Iranian leaders insisted they would now be working on expending bilateral relations.

Also, the long-delayed UN-backed Lebanon tribunal indictments for the 2005 assassination of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri are expected within weeks. As the Assad regime and Hezbollah have both been accused of being involved, if the trial puts them directly in the firing line, things could start heating up with supporters and protesters clashing in the streets.

As unrest in Syria refuses to die down and Assad is determined to stay in power, it is understandable that Israel, who has very few friends in the region, is worried. However Netanyahu's government needs to differentiate the protests that are directed to the Syrian's government to the protests it faces due to its policies on Palestine. As long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is on-going, Israel will struggle with feeling safe as most of its neighbours support Palestine. As protests are still strong, it seems that tensions lead to suspicions. It seems however unrealistic to think that Assad would attack Israel since he knows that is one thing the country's western allies will not allow him to do.