Skip to comments.Syria accuses US of serving Israeli interests
Posted on 03/31/2003 8:00:52 AM PST by Asher
Mar. 31, 2003
Syria accuses US of serving Israeli interests
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Responding to US criticism, Syria came out firmly behind Iraq on Monday, saying the US-led invasion was illegitimate and unjustified.
The Syrian Foreign Ministry also accused Washington of catering to Israeli interests in the Middle East.
The Syrian comments came a day after US Secretary of State Colin Powell told Syria to cease its support for terrorism, suggesting it would otherwise face grave consequences.
"Syria now faces a critical choice" of whether to "continue its direct support for terrorism in the dying days" of President Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq, Powell said in a strongly worded speech Sunday to a pro-Israeli lobby.
"Syria bears responsibility for its choices and consequences," he added sternly.
Powell's comments came on the heels of an accusation by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld that Syria was supplying Iraq with military equipment, including night-vision goggles.
"It is clear from (Powell's) speech that he was submitting a report on his latest achievements which confirm that what the US administration is doing in our region serves Israel and its interests and pleases (Israeli Prime Minister Ariel) Sharon," a Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman said Monday.
"By doing that, the employees of this (US) administration get a report for good behavior from Israel," the spokesman added in a statement faxed to The Associated Press.
The statement said Syria has already made its choice: "Syria has chosen to be with international legality represented by the United Nations Security Council." "Syria has also chosen to stand by the Iraqi people who are facing an illegitimate and unjustified invasion," the statement said.
According to some Arab and international media outlets, large numbers of Syrian and other Arab volunteers are believed to be traveling to Iraq through Syria to fight alongside the Iraqi people.
The Syrian government has not commented on the reports. An official at the Iraqi Embassy in Damascus said Monday he had no information on the reports.
Syria has rejected Rumsfeld's charge of military supplies to Iraq as an American bid to cover up its battlefield failures.
On Sunday, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk al-Sharaa said "Syria has a national interest in the expulsion of the invaders from Iraq" and accused the US of being "shortsighted and ignorant of the region's history and culture."
On Monday, some 400 Syrian women chanted anti-US slogans during a demonstration in downtown Damascus.
The women, most wearing veils, waved Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian flags as they marched in the protest held near a district in the capital housing several Arab embassies. More than 100 baton-wielding riot police ringed the area.
"Bush, Blair, go away," one banner read. "No to American terrorism," read another.
Syrian newspapers, meanwhile, kept up their fierce criticism of the war on Iraq.
The official Baath newspaper Monday said the Iraqi resistance "has forced Pentagon's hawks to show their true face and the fact that they have come to occupy Iraq and seize its natural resources, particularly oil."
Perhaps Buchanan's now advising the Syrian government.
Some help please. I keep seeing this slogan "Go Pat go." Where actually is he meant to be going?
Don't make us come over there....
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