Syria and the Bush administration


Report: US considering armed intervention in Syria (Jerusalem Post, 14 January 2004)

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and the civilian echelons of the Pentagon have proposed that President George Bush instigate military actions against Syria due to its continued support for Hizbullah and enabling terrorists to enter Iraq from its border.

Reports received by the Night Rider news group in Washington, operations will not include large-scale military intervention, in spite of several Pentagon officials' belief that Syria should be the next to go after Iraq. The Defense Department is considering punitive aerial attacks and Special Forces incursions.

United States slaps sanctions on Syria (Daily Times/Pakistan, 14 December 2003) Syria condemns US sanctions (ABC News Online, 14 December 2003) Syria turns in 22 Istanbul suspects (AP, 30 November 2003) U.S. may consider force against Syria (Ha'aretz, 20 June 2003) US to toughen stand on N Korea, Syria: Rice (Hindustan Times, 15 May 2003) U.S. to Syria: Don't Be 'On Wrong Side of History' (Reuters, 11 May 2003) Democratic presidential contender says US should target Syria, Hizbullah (Al Bawaba, 25 April 2003) President Praises Efforts By Syria: New Cooperation On Iraq Is Cited (Washington Post, 21 April 2003) Ex-CIA chief gets tough on Syria: Says nation 'needs regime change': Calls Baathists `fascist parties' (Toronto Star, 21 April 2003) The Syria Question: Blair rejects an invasion (, 15 April 2003) Robert Fisk: Would President Assad invite a cruise missile to his palace? (, 15 April 2003) Syria Built Arsenal as 'Equalizer': Israel's Arms Spurred Fear (Washington Post, 17 April 2003)

Syria's current arsenal of chemical warheads and Scud missiles was started more than 30 years ago to counter Israel's development and possession of nuclear weapons, according to present and former U.S. intelligence officials.

"They have been developing chemical weapons as a force equalizer with the Israelis," a former senior intelligence analyst said yesterday. "Hafez al-Assad, the present president's father, saw chemicals as a way to threaten the Israelis and an equalizer for their nuclear program." Assad knew, the former analyst said, that "military aid from the Soviets would never be able to match what Israel developed in the nuclear field and received from the U.S."

Syria: the fork in the road for Bush and Blair: Engage with Damascus and you can hope for change with some stability. Pull it down and you may reap the whirlwind (Independent, 15 April 2003) America's attacks on Syria simply confirm fears of its Middle East intentions (Independent, 14 April 2003) Syria Denies Chemical Arms, Aiding Iraq (Washington Post, 14 April 2003) audio interview on Syria with Scott Davis, author of "The Road From Damascus" US warns Syria not to provide haven for wanted Iraqis (, 14 April 2003)

Lawrence Eagleburger, who was US Secretary of State under George Bush Sr, told the BBC: "If George Bush [Jr] decided he was going to turn the troops loose on Syria and Iran after that he would last in office for about 15 minutes.In fact if President Bush were to try that now even I would think that he ought to be impeached. You can't get away with that sort of thing in this democracy."

U.S. Toughens Warnings to Syria on Iraq, Other Issues (Washington Post, 14 April 2003) As Iraqis Flee To Syria, U.S. Nets Scientist (Washington Post, 14 April 2003) Syria is 'not next coalition target' - Straw (Washington Post, 14 April 2003) Saddam's brother captured 'trying to escape to Syria' (Washington Post, 14 April 2003) Syrian foreign minister accuses U.S of wanting to destroy Iraq (, 14 April 2003) Syria could be next, warns Washington (Observer, 13 April 2003)

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 .

Powell warns Syria not to prove 'safe haven' for Saddam (, 13 April 2003) U.S. Adviser Perle Warns Syria Over Iraqi Weapons (Reuters, 12 April 2003) Remarks by Bush aides worry Syria: Ordinary people fear their nation could be target of 'regime change' (San Francisco Chronicle, 11 April 2003) Syria Warned Again Not to 'Meddle' in Iraq: Wolfowitz Says U.S. May Rethink Policy If Damascus Harbors Iraqi Officials (11 April 2003) U.S. Tells Iran, Syria, N. Korea 'Learn from Iraq' (Reuters, 9 April, 2003)

"With respect to the issue of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction in the post-conflict period, we are hopeful that a number of regimes will draw the appropriate lesson from Iraq that the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction is not in their national interest," Bolton told a news conference.

Syria now top US target for 'regime change' (, 8 April 2003) For Some, Syria Looms as Next Goal: U.S. Officials Talk of Peaceful Change in Government Seen as Aiding Hussein (Washington Post, 8 April 2003) Near Baghdad, U.S. troops encounter a 'remarkable' foe: 'Jihad' forces from Syria, Egypt, Marine officers say (, 5 April 2003) Blair Condemns U.S. Threats To Syria, Iran (, 3 April 2003) Ex-CIA director: U.S. faces 'World War IV' (CNN, 3 April 2003)

He said the new war is actually against three enemies: the religious rulers of Iran, the "fascists" of Iraq and Syria, and Islamic extremists like al Qaeda.

U.S. forces blow up Iraqi pipeline to Syria (Middle East Newsline, 3 April 2003) Straw: UK will not attack Syria or Iran (Guardian, 2 April 2003) Syria offers angry retort to Powell and Rumsfeld remarks (International Herald Tribune, 1 April 2003) Powell flies out with a post-war warning for Syria and Iran (, 1 April 2003)

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Last modified: Fri Jan 16 12:23:09 CST 2004