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U.S. v. Syria

Archived News Articles: U.S. Foreign Policy and Syria

From The International Herald Tribune: Saturday, April 12, 2003
A strong warning to Syria By Barry James/IHT International Herald Tribune
Perle, a Pentagon adviser, sees more preemption in future
An interview with Richard Perle By Barry James/IHT

From CBS News: April 12, 2003
Pentagon Adviser Warns Syria
A top Pentagon adviser who is considered an architect of the policy that led to the war with Iraq issued a stark warning to Syria on Saturday. Richard Perle, a member of the influential Defense Policy Board, told the International Herald Tribune that if Syria were found to be hiding Iraqi weapons, "I'm quite sure that we would have to respond to that. But I suppose our first approach would be to demand that the Syrians terminate that threat by turning over anything they have come to possess, and failing that I don't think anyone would rule out the use of any of our full range of capabilities," Perle said.
The remark is one of several by top U.S. officials and advisers in recent weeks that suggest the U.S. might turn the heat up on Damascus now that Baghdad has fallen. Along with Libya, Iran and North Korea, Syria is one of the countries the Bush administration has put on notice for its alleged support of terrorism. ...

From The Observer: Sunday April 13, 2003
Syria could be next, warns Washington Ed Vulliamy in Washington
The United States has pledged to tackle the Syrian-backed Hizbollah group in the next phase of its 'war on terror' in a move which could threaten military action against President Bashar Assad's regime in Damascus. The move is part of Washington's efforts to persuade Israel to support a new peace settlement with the Palestinians. Washington has promised Israel that it will take 'all effective action' to cut off Syria's support for Hizbollah - implying a military strike if necessary, sources in the Bush administration have told The Observer. ...
Hawks in and close to the Bush White House have prepared the ground for an attack on Syria, raising the spectre of Hizbollah, of alleged Syrian plans to welcome refugees from Saddam Hussein's fallen regime, and of what the administration insists is Syrian support for Iraq during the war. Deputy Defence Secretary Paul Wolfowitz - regarded as the real architect of the Iraqi war and its aftermath - said on Thursday that 'the Syrians have been shipping killers into Iraq to try and kill Americans', adding: 'We need to think about what our policy is towards a country that harbours terrorists or harbours war criminals. There will have to be change in Syria, plainly,' said Wolfowitz. Washington intelligence sources claim that weapons of mass destruction that Saddam was alleged to have possessed were shipped to Syria after inspectors were sent by the United Nations to find them. One of the chief ideologists behind the war, Richard Perle, yesterday warned that the US would be compelled to act against Syria if it emerged that weapons of mass destruction had been moved there by Saddam's fallen Iraqi regime.

From The Guardian: Tuesday April 15, 2003
Bush vetoes Syria war plan By Julian Borger in Washington, Michael White, Ewen MacAskill in Kuwait City and Nicholas Watt
The White House has privately ruled out suggestions that the US should go to war against Syria following its military success in Iraq, and has blocked preliminary planning for such a campaign in the Pentagon, the Guardian learned yesterday. ... A diplomat in Washington with close ties to the administration agreed there was no sign of military action on the horizon. "There's no question of this at the White House," the diplomat said, pointing out that the Syrian army would be a far more potent adversary than Iraq's bedraggled forces. "Anyone who lives in the real world would never see this as more than noise." Instead, the administration expects that the loss of income from smuggling arms and oil to and from Iraq will make Damascus vulnerable to economic pressure. Congress is examining the Syrian accountability act, which would impose tough sanctions on Damascus. ...

From Reuters: Tue Apr 15, 9:49 AM ET
Arabs Fear Syria Threats Signal Wider U.S. Targets By Caroline Drees
CAIRO (Reuters) - Arabs are unnerved and insulted by U.S. accusations that Syria is a "rogue nation" developing chemical weapons and fear Washington's stream of broadsides mean the war on Iraq could extend to other Arab states. ... The Arab League said the accusations were not credible because U.S. and British forces in Iraq had yet to find banned weapons there -- despite waging war to unseat President Saddam Hussein and eliminate his alleged weapons of mass destruction. Some Arabs also believe the charges are part of a U.S. plot to control the region and say Israel may be the main beneficiary of Washington's policies. Lebanon's Information Minister Ghazi al-Aridi told Reuters on Tuesday the accusations were "further confirmation of the Zionist role in the American administration" ... Egypt and Jordan, two close U.S. allies and the only Arab states which have peace treaties with Israel, said on Monday that Arabs would work together to counter what they considered a threat to the region as a whole. ...

From Reuters: Tue Apr 15,11:31 AM ET
Syria Rejects U.S. Allegations as Threats By Inal Ersan
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria on Tuesday denounced U.S. accusations that Damascus was developing chemical weapons as threats and falsifications designed to further Israeli interests. ... State-run Syrian radio called on Tuesday for Arab solidarity to foil what it called a Zionist plan "to assume full control of our region and rearrange it in a manner that would terminate any presence of an Arab nationalist setting." The radio, a government mouthpiece, said Israel and the "Zionist lobby" have penetrated the U.S. administration and wanted to extend the war against Iraq to other countries. "This requires all to move and adopt a unified and clear stance to make the enemies of this (Arab) nation understand that Arabs will stand as a unified rank in the face of dangers" ... "It's an insult to my country, an insult to a country that is a member of the U.N. Security Council and an insult to a peaceful country that is struggling and working for a lasting peace in the Middle East," the ambassador, Mohsen Bilal, told Spain's Cadena Ser radio. ... He said the U.S.-led war against Iraq had been motivated by oil interests and protecting Israel. "They now have the oil, and the destruction of Iraq...Today begins the second phase of the war, which is to make Israel the most potent force in the Middle East" ... President Bush tried to enlist Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar on Monday in his campaign to put pressure on Syria, asking him to warn Damascus not to give shelter to senior Saddam aides. But Aznar, one of Bush's most loyal allies on Iraq, said in Warsaw on Tuesday "Syria has been and will be a friend of Spain." ...

From Reuters: Tue Apr 15, 4:42 PM ET
Six Gulf States Seek End to U.S. Threats to Syria
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) - Gulf Arab states, key regional U.S. allies, Tuesday rejected U.S. accusations that Syria was developing chemical weapons and harboring Iraqi officials, and said a foreign occupation of Iraq should end quickly. ...

U.S. charges against Syria set off alarms
Iraq-Syria oil pipeline shut off by U.S. forces, Rumsfeld says
April 15 — Even as the State Department moved to soften its tone Tuesday, saying there was “no war plan” for Syria, U.S. officials leveled new allegations against Damascus and said U.S. forces had shut off an oil pipeline from Iraq to Syria. Experts said the move would inflict a sharp blow to Syria’s fragile economy. ...
“We think the threat to Syria should stop. We don’t think Syria wants a war or to escalate any situation. ... We reject any infringement of Syria’s security,” the Qatari foreign minister, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim al-Thani, told reporters. “We are watching this with great care, and if there is any problem to be solved, it is to be solved by direct negotiations by both sides,” he said after the meeting in the Saudi capital, Riyadh. ...
Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council — a political, economic and military alliance grouping Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait and Oman — own nearly half the world’s oil reserves. ... Iran, too, weighed in on behalf of its allies in Damascus, saying it would not remain neutral if the United States attacked Syria. ...
Specialists said the United States had done a poor job of explaining to Syrians why it appeared to be coming after them. They said many Syrians believed their country was cooperating in the war against terrorism and gave crucial Arab cover to U.N. Resolution 1441, which demanded that Saddam disarm. ...

From The National Post: Wednesday » April 16 » 2003
Is Syria next?

From The National Post at Monday, May 05, 2003
U.S. hands Damascus its last warning
Hezbollah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad remain defiant:
U.S. says 'there are consequences lurking in the background' unless aid to terrorists ends
by Scott Stinson - National Post, with files from news services
Colin Powell, the U.S. Secretary of State, said yesterday he had delivered a final warning to Syria to stop aiding terrorist groups. He said Damascus would have a price to pay if it failed to meet Washington's demands to close the offices of Islamic terrorist organizations in its country. ... Mr. Powell said the Bush administration will closely follow developments in the region, and warned that Syrian promises of action would not suffice. ...

Opinion from The Spectrum (Utah): Friday, August 22, 2003
Syria should be next to face U.S. sanctions
"The war against terrorists is far from over. ... The United States has dethroned the Taliban in Afghanistan and chased Osama bin Laden into hiding. American troops also have ousted Saddam Hussein and his regime. Now, a proposal has been introduced in the House that would impose sanctions on Syria, a nation known to harbor terrorists. Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., have been the primary supporters of the legislation that would authorize President George W. Bush to freeze Syria's assets in the United States, restrict trade and greatly reduce the travel of Syrian officials to U.S. soil. Those sanctions would remain in place until Syria ends its aid to the Hezbollah terrorist group, withdraws its troops from Lebanon and ends its programs to develop weapons of mass destruction. ... Countries such as Syria have historically supported these legions of horror. As a result, until they sever all ties with terrorism, they must not be allowed to do business with the United States."

From Newsday: September 11, 2003, 6:56 PM EDT
U.S. Mulls Sanctions Against Syria By Timothy M. Phelps, Washington Bureau Chief
Washington -- With new intelligence showing involvement by key members of the Syrian government in weapons sales to Saddam Hussein, the Bush administration is on the verge of imposing potentially devastating economic sanctions against Syria, administration officials say. ...
Douglas Feith, the number three official at the Pentagon, coauthored a report in the 1990's saying the U.S. should invade Iraq as a first step towards toppling the Assad regime in Syria. ...

From AP: Sep 16, 6:34 PM (ET)
U.S. Alleges Syria Is Seeking Banned Arms By HARRY DUNPHY
WASHINGTON (AP) - Syria is allowing militants to cross its border into Iraq to kill U.S. soldiers and is aggressively seeking to acquire and develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, a senior Bush administration official said Tuesday. In addition, he said Syria continues to support organizations the United States lists as terrorist groups.
John Bolton, undersecretary of state for arms control, told a House hearing the United States was trying to change Syria's behavior through diplomatic means and urged lawmakers to let the effort run its course before passing trade restrictions and other measures. After testifying to the House International Relations Committee's panel on the Middle East and Central Asia, Bolton left for Moscow, where he is to talk with the Russians about proliferation of nuclear technology in Iran, State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said. ...

From Reuters: Sat September 20, 2003 09:12 AM ET
Syria Won't Bow to U.S. Pressure, Vows Iraq Support
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria brushed aside on Saturday as "futile" United States pressure to secure its cooperation with U.S. policies and argued that Washington should display a better understanding of Arab interests. "These pressures will not have a negative impact on us," said Vice President Abdel-Halim Khaddam. ... Khaddam said Damascus will "offer all the help possible to assist the brotherly Iraqi people out of their crisis. What we are interested in is that Iraq regain its independence and sovereignty and that the Iraqi people are able to determine their destiny. This is the direction of our interests as Syrians and Arabs. (If) the Americans have other interests then that's their affair," he said.

From AP: Oct. 5, 2003
Israel Strikes Terrorist Base in Syria By RAVI NESSMAN, Associated Press Writer
JERUSALEM - Israeli warplanes bombed what the military called an Islamic Jihad training base deep in Syria on Sunday in the first Israeli attack on Syrian soil in more than two decades. The raid came in retaliation for an Islamic Jihad suicide bombing at a Haifa restaurant that killed 19 people. ...
Israel, which accuses Syria of harboring and funding Islamic Jihad, said it would strike at terrorists anywhere in the region. A statement from the military on the strike also accused Iran of funding and directing Islamic Jihad, and said Israel "will act with determination against all who harm its citizens." "Any country who harbors terrorism, who trains (terrorists), supports and encourages them will be responsible to answer for their actions," government spokesman Avi Pazner said. ...

From AP: Oct 5, 3:50 PM (ET)
U.S. Cites Syria As Sponsor of Terrorism By BARRY SCHWEID
WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States served notice Sunday that it considers Syria on the wrong side of the fight against terrorism and appealed for restraint in the Middle East after Israel struck inside its Arab neighbor's territory. ... the State Department said Syria "must cease harboring terrorists and make a clean break from those responsible for planning and directing terrorist action from Syrian soil." ...

From Newsday, Washington Post, Reuters at The Sydney Morning Herald: Oct 8, 2003
Syria sanctions poised to sail through US Congress By Timothy Phelps in Washington
The Bush Administration, which essentially endorsed Israel's bombing of Syria, has given the all-clear to the US Congress to approve economic sanctions against Syria. Sources said the Administration, frustrated with Syria's failure to crack down on alleged terrorists, had dropped its opposition to the stalled Syria Accountability Act. The House of Representatives international relations committee will approve it today, staff members said on Monday. With a majority of Democrats and Republicans in both houses of Congress in favour of the act, it is almost certain of passage, probably early next week, staff members said. ...

From Reuters: Wed October 8, 2003 08:13 AM ET
Syria Says Ready to Fight if Israel Attacks Again By Dan Williams and Dan Trotta
JERUSALEM/MADRID (Reuters) - Syria's ambassador to Spain said on Wednesday Damascus would respond militarily against Israel if the Jewish state carried out new attacks on Syrian territory. ...

From Arabic News: 10/20/2003
Demonstration backs Syria in Egypt Egypt-Syria, Politics
Scores of thousands of Egyptian students demonstrated at Al-Azhar University in Cairo yesterday protesting the so-called US Congressional Syria Accountability Act legislation and condemned the latest Israeli aggression against Syria. ...

Iran voices support to Syria Syria-Iran, Politics, 10/20/2003
The Spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry Hamid Rida Asifi on Sunday condemned the socalled Syria Accountability Act legislation passed by the U.S. Congress, saying "such measures (efforts) are not new and represent continued unilateral, illogical American policies rejected by the international society." ...

At October 21, 2003
New Cheney Adviser Sets Syria In His Sights by Jim Lobe
A neo-conservative strategist who has long called for the United States and Israel to work together to "roll back" the Ba'ath-led government in Syria has been quietly appointed as a Middle East adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney.
David Wurmser, who had been working for Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton, joined Cheney's staff under its powerful national security director, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, in mid-September, according to Cheney's office. ... Damascus has been in Wurmser's sights at least since he began working with Perle at AEI in the mid-1990s. ...

From Middle East Newsline: 11/11/2003 15:10:22
DAMASCUS [MENL] -- Syria has completed chemical warheads for its arsenal of Scud-based missiles. U.S. officials said Syria, with help from North Korea, has succeeded in designing and installing CW warheads for the Scud B, Scud C and Scud D missiles. This provides Syria with warheads that can reach distances from 250 to nearly 700 kilometers. ...

From AFP at Finance24: 30/11/2003 15:24 - (SA)
US makes headway in Syria
Damas - US geophysical services company Veritas signed late on Saturday a US$4m agreement to prospect for oil in Syria's offshore waters, the country's oil ministry said on Sunday. The deal comes despite US Congress approved legislation on November 11 that provides for sanctions, including curbs on investments by US firms, against Syria, which Washington accuses of supporting terrorism and seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction. Damascus denies the charges. The Veritas agreement covers prospection and the gathering of geological and geophysical data over a total of 4,700(sq) kilometres in Syrian territorial waters in the Mediterranean, a statement said. ... Syria currently produces 500,000 barrels per day of crude and its proven reserves are estimated at 2.5 billion barrels.

From Middle East Newsline: 12/03/2003 14:52:24
WASHINGTON [MENL] -- A leading U.S. official has asserted that Syrian weapons of mass destruction threatens U.S. interests. Undersecretary of State John Bolton warned that the United States plans to use diplomatic and other unspecified measures to halt the WMD programs of Syria and other states he deemed as rogues. He said they include Cuba, Iran, Libya and North Korea. In an address to the Fletcher Conference in Washington on Tuesday, Bolton said the United States and its allies have been steadily preparing for the interception of WMD and missile shipments to Syria and other Middle East states. He said U.S. allies, under the auspices of the Proliferation Security Initiative, have been training in naval interdiction exercises in the Mediterranean Sea and other areas. "Rogue states such as Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya and Cuba, whose pursuit of weapons of mass destruction makes them hostile to U.S. interests, will learn that their covert programs will not escape either detection or consequences," Bolton said. "While we will pursue diplomatic solutions whenever possible, the United States and its allies are also willing to deploy more robust techniques, such as the interdiction and seizure of illicit goods." ...

From World Thursday, December 11, 2003
Report: U.S. could target Iran, Syria in stage 3
The United States is expected to target the regimes in Iran and Syria in the next stage of the war against Islamic insurgents. A report by the U.S. Institute for Peace has warned that the war that began with Afghanistan and then Iraq could include multiple targets. The most likely targets are Iran and Syria. The institute, which is under the auspices of Congress and contains leading U.S. analysts, said in the report that Stage 3 of the U.S. war against terrorism would be significantly different from previous phases. The next stage of the war would be challenging, the report said, with targeted regimes more resilient than Afghanistan and Iraq. ...
The report, entitled "Phase Three in the War on Terror," said the United States would not find many terrorist targets for an air or missile attack in either Iran or Syria. This, despite that both countries are on the State Department list of terrorist sponsors. "Limited bombing would almost certainly fail to disrupt the terrorist infrastructure significantly," the report said. "There is simply too little to bomb. As the U.S. cruise missile attacks on Sudan and Afghanistan in 1998 demonstrated, limited attacks usually have a negligible effect on terrorists and can even lead to their lionization. Putting boots on the ground is necessary to root out terrorists, and even then they are more likely to be displaced than destroyed." At that point, the United States might decide on a ground invasion of Iran or Syria. The report warned that such a move would encounter significant resistance by the militaries in Damascus and Teheran. ... The report urged regime change without a military invasion. ...

From The Telegraph: (Filed: 06/01/2004)
We won't scrap WMD stockpile unless Israel does, says Assad
The Syrian president talks exclusively to Benedict Brogan in Damascus
Syria is entitled to defend itself by acquiring its own chemical and biological deterrent, President Bashar Assad said last night as he rejected American and British demands for concessions on weapons of mass destruction. ... Since the capture of Saddam Hussein and Col Muammar Gaddafi's decision to dismantle his WMD programme, Mr Assad has risen towards the top of America's target list. ... He called on the international community to support the proposal that Syria presented to the United Nations last year for removing all WMD from the Middle East, including Israel's nuclear stockpile. "Unless this applies to all countries, we are wasting our time." ...

From The Telegraph: (Filed: 07/01/2004)
Assad given weapons ultimatum By Anton La Guardia, Diplomatic Editor
America and Britain rebuffed President Bashar Assad of Syria yesterday, telling him bluntly that Damascus must give up its weapons of mass destruction or face ostracism - even if neighbouring Israel keeps its nuclear arms. ...

From Knight Ridder News Service at The Star-Telegraph: Sat, Jan. 10, 2004
Bush aides debate attacking Syria By Warren P. Strobel and John Walcott
WASHINGTON - Senior aides to President Bush are vigorously debating what to do about Syria as evidence mounts that Damascus is stepping up support for the terror group Hezbollah and allowing anti-American insurgents to reach Iraq, U.S. officials said. Civilians in Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's office are pushing for military action against Syria and have drawn up plans for punitive airstrikes and cross-border incursions by U.S. forces, three officials said. They are not considering an invasion, they said. But Bush's White House advisers, backed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the State Department, are arguing against the military venture with much of the U.S. military tied down in Iraq and Afghanistan and a presidential election year under way. That view appears to have prevailed for now. "We've got all we can handle, and then some, in Iraq, and our military is either stretched to the breaking point or already broken," said one senior administration official. He and others spoke on condition of anonymity because the debate is ongoing and some of the information involved is classified. ...

From Reuters at The Washington Post: Saturday, January 17, 2004; 4:15 PM
Syria Dismisses Powell Call to Follow Libya on WMD
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria's state media dismissed on Saturday Secretary of State Colin Powell's call for Damascus to follow in Libya's footsteps and abandon weapons programs, saying the onus should be on Israel instead. ... Syrian state radio said in its daily commentary that it was the United States that had blocked "the proposal Syria presented to the (U.N.) Security Council to rid the Middle East of the different weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons of which Israel possesses more than 100 warheads." The radio also questioned why Washington did not demand that Israel abandon its weapons programs, submit to inspections and sign international arms treaties. Syria denies it has acquired nuclear, chemical or biological weapons, but says it has the right to defend itself against Israel, which is believed to have some 200 nuclear warheads. ...

From The Telegraph: 25/01/2004
Saddam's WMD hidden in Syria, says Iraq survey chief By Con Coughlin
David Kay, the former head of the coalition's hunt for Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, yesterday claimed that part of Saddam Hussein's secret weapons programme was hidden in Syria. In an exclusive interview with The Telegraph, Dr Kay, who last week resigned as head of the Iraq Survey Group, said that he had uncovered evidence that unspecified materials had been moved to Syria shortly before last year's war to overthrow Saddam. ...

From Reuters: Sun January 25, 2004 02:56 PM ET
Syria Scoffs at U.S. Claim It Has Iraqi Weapons
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria brushed aside Sunday U.S. accusations that it has Iraqi weapons of mass destruction as a cover story for what it called U.S. failure in Iraq. "This (allegation) is meant to mislead (the public opinion). So long as there were no weapons of mass destruction (found) in Iraq itself how can they be in Syria?" Information Minister Ahmad al-Hassan told reporters. ...

From Reuters: Tue May 11, 2004 04:55 PM ET
Bush Imposes Economic Sanctions on Syria -Lawmaker
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush imposed economic sanctions on Syria on Tuesday for allegedly supporting terrorism and failing to stop anti-U.S. guerrillas from entering Iraq. In a widely expected move, Bush signed an executive order that bans U.S. exports to Syria other than food and medicine, severs U.S. banking relations with the Commercial Bank of Syria and freezes assets of Syrians involved in a range of prohibited areas from terrorism to weapons of mass destruction and violence in Iraq. The sanctions also tighten restrictions on arms-related and dual-use exports and prohibited Syrian aircraft from flying to or from the United States. A White House statement said Bush would impose additional sanctions unless Syria stopped supporting groups identified by Washington as terror organizations, gave up its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, withdrew from Lebanon and began cooperating fully with international efforts to stabilize Iraq. ...

From Jerusalem Post: May. 12, 2004 20:25
European Union disregards US sanctions on Syria
The European Union has chosen to ignore US sanctions on Syria, and an EU economic delegation is scheduled to travel to Beirut and Damascus next week, reported IBA news Wednesday. ...

From The Los Angeles Times at The Union Leader: June 25, 2004
PROLIFERATION: Syria, Pakistani nuclear exchange alleged By Douglas Frantz
ISTANBUL, Turkey - International investigators are examining whether Syria acquired nuclear technology and expertise through the black market network operated by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan, according to a U.S. official and Western diplomats. ... The senior U.S. official, who also insisted on anonymity, said an experimental electronic monitoring device had picked up the distinctive pattern of centrifuges operating in Syria in recent months. The official declined to provide any details and said the United States only suspects that the technology came from Khan's network.

From Reuters: Wed Sep 1, 2004 04:37 PM ET
Israel Threatens Syria After Hamas Bombings By Matt Spetalnick
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel threatened Syria on Wednesday over what officials said was complicity in Palestinian suicide bombings that killed 16 people in the first such attacks in the Jewish state in nearly six months. Security officials said the Israeli military would answer Tuesday's twin bus bombings with a renewed assassination campaign against leaders of Hamas, the militant group behind the attacks, both in the Palestinian territories and abroad. ...
From The Guardian: Thursday September 2, 2004
Israel sees Syrian link in bombings By Conal Urquhart in Hebron and agencies
Israel warned the Arab world yesterday that it saw Syrian hands behind this week's suicide bombings in Beersheba, as it sealed off a nearby West Bank city and destroyed the home of one of the attackers. After the militant group Hamas claimed Tuesday's bus bombings, which killed 16 people, troops entered Hebron and blew up the home of Ahmed Kawasmeh, one of the perpetrators. ...

From Reuters: Sat Sep 11, 2004 08:51 AM ET
U.S. Official Tells Syria to Leave Lebanon By Inal Ersan
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - It is time for Syria to quit Lebanon, a senior State Department official said after talks with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Saturday. Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns said in Damascus he underlined Washington's "deep concern over Syrian intervention in the Lebanese political process" in what he called frank and detailed talks with Assad. "Syria must end its interference in Lebanese internal affairs, withdraw its forces from Lebanon and allow the Lebanese armed forces and government to establish their authority throughout Lebanon," Burns told reporters after the talks. ...

From Reuters: Sun Sep 26, 2004 02:48 PM ET
Suspected Israeli Agents Kill Militant in Syria By Inal Ersan
DAMASCUS (Reuters) - Syria accused Israel of terrorism after a bomb -- which Israeli security sources said Israel planted -- killed a Hamas official in Damascus on Sunday. Hamas vowed to retaliate. ...

From Newsweek at MSNBC: Oct. 4 issue
Plans: Next, War on Syria? By Mark Hosenball
Deep in the Pentagon, admirals and generals are updating plans for possible U.S. military action in Syria and Iran. The Defense Department unit responsible for military planning for the two troublesome countries is "busier than ever," an administration official says. Some Bush advisers characterize the work as merely an effort to revise routine plans the Pentagon maintains for all contingencies in light of the Iraq war. More skittish bureaucrats say the updates are accompanied by a revived campaign by administration conservatives and neocons for more hard-line U.S. policies toward the countries. ...

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