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U.S. Official: Syria Should Worry About Invasion


By David Storobin, Esq.

The US is considering an attack on terrorists and Iraqi Ba’athists hiding in Syria who, it believes, are directing many of the attacks against Coalition forces in Iraq, a senior American administration official told The Jerusalem Post. A recent attack in Mosul that resulted in the death of 22 Americans was likely orchestrated from Syrian territory. A group of former Iraqi officials and generals set up a “New Regional Command” from which they orchestrate attacks against the new Iraqi regime and the Coalition forces.

The Times of London is reporting that not only are the Syrians providing Ba’athists and terrorists with a base of operations, but they are directly involved in supporting anti-American terror and insurgency.

New sanctions on Syria are very likely. The recent “Syria Accountability Act” left many loopholes and the Bush administration may be looking to completely forbid all trade between Americans and Syria. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage confirmed to a Lebanese newspaper that the U.S. is considering sanctions. President Bush, likewise, declared that “nothing’s taken off the table” when answering a question about pressuring the Syrian Ba’ath regime.

Richard Armitage also spoke of Syria’s continued occupation of Lebanon in violation of U.N. resolution 1559. The United States may bring the issue to the U.N. Security Council in January.

In addition to new sanctions, the U.S. official asserted that Washington may become more “aggressive” in the coming months and predicted a confrontation “unless the Syrians reverse their actions.”

“[W]hen you're being attacked from safe havens across the border – we've been through this a lot of times before – we're just not going to sit there,” said the American told the Jerusalem Post.

In recent days, Iraq’s Defense Minister accused both Syria and Iran of supporting al-Qaida-lined Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and others looking to undermine the new regime. The Bashar Assad administration denied the charges as “baseless,” but Americans and Iraqis remain unconvinced.

The attack, however, is not considered imminent and is currently in preliminary stages. Having said that, the Bush administration is not known for backing out of decisions and follows through on their plans, no matter the time and effort needed to execute them.

In an action reminiscent of President Bush’s demand to the Taliban to turn over Osama and other al-Qaida terrorists, Washington has given Syria a list of terrorists and senior officials in the Saddam Hussein administration who must be arrested. Damascus has not responded to the demands.

“If I were Syria, I'd be worried,” concluded the above mentioned senior U.S. official.

David Storobin is a New York lawyer who received Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree from Rutgers University School of Law. His Master's Thesis (M.A. - Comparative Politics) deals with Extremist Movements in the Middle East and the historical causes for the rise of fundamentalism. Mr. Storobin's book "The Root Cause: The Rise of Fundamentalist Islam and its Threat to the World" will be published in 2005.

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