February 23, 2005


Bush Turns Heat on Syria, But to Wait on Sanctions (Lucy Fielder, 2/23/05, Reuters)

President Bush demanded Wednesday that Syria pull its security services as well as its army from Lebanon, echoing France's remarks that Syrian intelligence controlled the country.

But Bush said before seeking U.N. sanctions, Washington would see how Syria responded to international clamor for it to quit Lebanon, which has grown louder since a massive bomb killed former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri last week.

"We will see how they (the Syrians) respond before there are any further discussions about going back to the United Nations," Bush told a news conference he held with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Mainz, Germany.

Washington has cranked up pressure on Lebanon's "oppressive neighbor" Syria over the past week, recalling its Damascus ambassador.

You don't hear much from even those on the Left about how awful it is that the President is effecting regime change unilaterally.

Iraqi insurgents said trained in Syria (UPI, 2/23/05)

Iraqi insurgents told Iraqi television Wednesday they were taught in Syria how to prepare and detonate cars bombs and roadside explosives.

Also a Syrian national, going by the name of Anas the Syrian, appeared on television and confessed he was a first lieutenant in Syrian intelligence.

The insurgents -- many former officers of the dissolved Iraqi army -- confessed to several crimes, including the kidnappings and killings of Iraqis working as translators with the U.S. forces. They also admitted to bombing attacks against multinational troops in the city of Mosul, north of Iraq.

They said they were trained in Latakia, Syria, by Syrian intelligence officers.

The televised confessions have been going on for three days and are bound to cause a crisis in relations between Iraq and neighboring Syria.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 23, 2005 8:58 AM
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