US turns up WMD heat on Syria

The United States has stepped up its rhetoric against Damascus, reiterating allegations that it is developing weapons of mass destruction.

    John Bolton: Syria “continuing to develop an offensive biological weapons capability”

    US Undersecretary of State John Bolton told Congress on Tuesday that Washington must keep open the option of using “every tool” to dissuade Damascus

    .

    Syria has repeatedly denied the accusations. 

    Bolton claimed Damascus was “continuing to develop an offensive biological weapons capability”.

    The Undersecretary’s comments went further than the CIA’s claim that it was “highly probable” Damascus was developing an offensive biological weapons capability.

    Blame game

    Syria warned the United States not to blame its problems in Iraq on Damascus.

    Syria’s Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Dr Buthaina Shaban said Washington was focusing its attention on Damascus when it should be dealing with its problems in Baghdad.

    “The United States should consider its policies and problems in Iraq, without blaming Iraq’s neighbouring countries,” she said in an interview with Aljazeera.

    Syria's FM Faruq al-Shara reiterates
    readiness to cooperate with US

    “A huge number of people in the United States are discussing the false reports on WMD in Iraq,” she said. “They will also reject the false allegations against Syria,” she added.

    Meanwhile, Syrian Foreign Minister Faruq al-Shara said Damascus would meet any “reasonable” request from the US.

    His comments came after US Secretary of State Colin Powell said Washington needed more "forceful" cooperation from Damascus if Syria wanted good relations with the US.

    Draft bill debate

    The latest war of words between Damascus and Washington coincides with a Congress debate scheduled this week to discuss the Syria Accountability Act.

    This draft bill calls for sanctions to be imposed on Damascus if, among other things, it does not end its alleged development of WMD.

    The bill is said to have support in both the US Senate and House of Representatives. The Bush administration has not formally taken a position on the draft.

    SOURCE: Aljazeera + Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    'We scoured for days without sleeping, just clothes on our backs'

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    Daughters of al-Shabab

    What draws Kenyan women to join al-Shabab and what challenges are they facing when they return to their communities?