MILITARY: US Rattles the Sabre at Syria

Owen, Tom
June 2003
Middle East;Jun2003, Issue 335, p14
The striking success of the U.S. assault on Iraq has doubtless convinced U.S. military planners that, after their similar successes in Afghanistan, they can now attack Syria. Syria came under a heavy barrage of rhetoric and insinuation. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in a press conference that the Pentagon has "scraps of intelligence saying that Syria has been cooperative in facilitating the move of the people out of Iraq and into Syria." Syria has always been on the list of countries criticized for harboring and lending support to terrorist groups, especially Hizbullah and Palestinian Islamic groups. In addition to suggesting that Syria was harboring Iraqi regime leaders, Rumsfeld also claimed there was evidence of transfers of weapons of mass destruction from Iraq to Syria, possibly necessitating UNMOVIC-type weapons inspections for Syria. According to stratfor.com, a subscription website offering geopolitical analysis that has close links to the U.S. government, "Washington sees an opportunity to limit North Korea's access to advanced missile guidance systems by shutting down Syria's ability to act as a conduit: The country reportedly has imported the SS-X-26 Stone (Iskandar-E) short-range ballistic missile from Russia and resold the guidance technology to North Korea, allegedly without Moscow's knowledge."


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