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Sunday, Apr. 13, 2003 at 3:51 PM
US wants to impose sanctions on Syria with new legislation! Tell the US that they can't traffic the world with their unilateral actions! Write, call, etc... your congressman!!!
US-Syria tension levels rise
With Iraqi President Saddam Hussein on the run, the United States is now turning its turret on Syria with a campaign alleging it is supporting Iraq and harbours “weapons of mass destruction”.
An apprehensive Syria’s ambassador to Washington Rostom Zohbi on Friday protested what he called a "concerted campaign" by the United States and Israel against Damascus over its alleged support for Iraq.
"It's a concerted campaign of accusations against Syria," Rostom Zohbi said in an interview to Al-Jazeera. “Accusations came from the office of the Israeli prime minister (Ariel Sharon) that arms of mass destruction were sent to Syria" by the Iraqi leadership, the ambassador said.
He said US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had accused Syria on March 28 of sending military aid to Iraq in its war with the US-led coalition, notably night-vision goggles. "This came as no surprise. On the same day, I read the same accusations in (the Israeli newspaper) Haaretz, just hours before Mr. Rumsfeld made his statement," Zohbi noted.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad waving to a crowd
An Israeli general charged on March 31 that Iraq could have transferred banned missiles and weapons of mass destruction to neighbouring Syria, a strong opponent of the war to topple President Saddam Hussein.
"Such accusations have a reason ... we have made every effort since the start to spare Iraq and the region from war and its repercussions," said the ambassador, whose country has repeatedly denied helping Iraq during the war.
The spat comes even as fierce fighting takes place at Qaim which borders Syria and Iraq. The intense fighting in such a desolate area, far away from Baghdad, has triggered off speculation whether Saddam Hussein or any of his key colleagues are hiding there. Another speculation is whether the much-elusive “weapons of mass destruction” has been stored at Qaim.
Or, US troops could be attempting to seal Qaim to prevent anyone from moving out of Iraq into Syria through this region
Earlier Friday, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad called for US and British troops to withdraw from Iraq, during a telephone conversation with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.
"The withdrawal of occupation forces would allow the Iraqi people to decide their own destiny, it's the only way to build a better future" for the country, al-Assad said.
Syria, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, "will do everything possible on a regional and international level to help the Iraqi people (ease) their suffering and preserve Iraq's unity and territorial integrity," he added.
In response to allegations by the US of helping Iraqis close to Saddam Hussein of escaping through its border, Syria has told the United States it has closed its border with Iraq to all but humanitarian traffic.
The US military and intelligence agencies would be monitoring the frontier "quite closely." The state department has warned Syria that it “faced a critical choice in its dealings with Iraq.”
"Syria has a choice to make and we hope Syria makes the right one," a US state department spokesman said.
US Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz said that Syria had been "behaving badly" but that no US military intervention was anticipated. In a veiled warning, he said “the Syrians are behaving badly, they need to be reminded of that and if they continue we need to think about our what our policy is."
"It's very dubious behaviour, and by calling attention to it we hope that in fact it will be enough to have them stop," he said, alleging that Syria harbours terrorists and war criminals and has shipped "things" to Iraq.
Rumsfeld had recently said Syria seemed to be ignoring Washington's increasingly strident warnings against providing military assistance to Iraq.
"They seem to have made a conscious decision to ignore that. We find it notably unhelpful," Rumsfeld said. He did not elaborate on which members of the Iraqi leadership may have slipped into Syria, but a senior US official said there were strong indications that several of Saddam's relatives, including his first wife, had crossed the border in the days leading up to the war.
What is causing concern in Syria is that the barbs thrown at it by the Bush administration come in the context of attempted legislation in US to hold Syria accountable for supporting terrorism and pursuing nuclear, biological and chemical weapons.
"Now that Saddam Hussein's regime is defeated, it is time for America to get serious about Syria," Representative Eliot Engel of New York said in a statement. The Syria Accountability Act of 2003, sponsored by Engel and his colleague Ileana Ros Lethinen of Florida, would allow President George Bush to impose sanctions if Damascus fails to meet US demands.
The only silver lining for Syria is that US Secretary of State Colin Powell has repeatedly insisted Washington has no plans to attack Syria, even as he has warned Damascus not to support terrorism or pursue banned weapons. --Al Jazeera with agency inputs
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|Now Hear This!!
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:24 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:34 AM
|Since we're in the area
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:50 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:53 AM
|Daveman is right
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:58 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 2:10 AM
|Be happy to!
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 2:22 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 2:40 AM
|Well don't forget these either
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 2:55 AM
|Oh, my goodness!
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 2:58 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 3:22 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 3:22 AM
|The defense rests...
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 3:26 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 3:34 AM
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 12:48 PM
|Right on Bobby
||Pissed Off in Ohio
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:01 PM
||Pissed Off in Ohio
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 1:48 PM
|Aay,Ohhh,Where'd You Go Ohio
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 4:47 PM
|I thought it was
||Monday, Apr. 14, 2003 at 4:55 PM
|And of course we are rolling...
||Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2003 at 3:01 PM
||Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2003 at 3:33 PM
||Tuesday, Apr. 15, 2003 at 4:09 PM
||Wednesday, Apr. 16, 2003 at 12:47 AM
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