For the past three months, Syrian President Bashar Assad has staved off a military attack by Turkey or NATO for halting the exceptional brutality of his crackdown on protest by explicitly holding Greater Tel Aviv's 1.2 million inhabitants under threat of missile retaliation. Iran and Hizballah are exercising the same deterrent. This standoff was the main theme of the talks US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta held with Israeli leaders in Tel Aviv Monday, Oct. 3.
According to Western intelligence sources, Syria, Iran and Hizballah have charted a coordinated military operation for flattening metropolitan Tel Aviv, Israel's financial, industrial and cultural center, with thousands of missiles launched simultaneously by all three - plus the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami firing from the Gaza Strip.

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