US hawk does not rule out Syria attack

Pentagon adviser Richard Perle said the recent Israeli attack in Syria was long overdue and expected US military action against Damascus.

    One person was injured in Israel's attack

    Perle, a close adviser to US President George Bush and Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, was speaking on Tuesday at a Jerusalem conference of conservatives from the United States and Israel.
     
    “I was happy to see that Israel has now taken a similar step in responding to acts of terror that originate in Lebanese territory by going to the rulers of Lebanon in Damascus,” said Perle, a Washington hawk.

    Israel launched an attack on Syria earlier this month, on what it claimed was a training camp for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group.

    The resistance group strongly denied it maintained training camps outside the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, saying Israel attacked a civilian area.

    It was Israel’s first deep attack in Syria since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    Everything's possible

    Perle said he hoped the air strike reflected a new Israeli policy similar to the Bush doctrine. 
      
    “We have problems with the Syrians who continue to support terrorism. We have to find a way to get them to stop,” Perle was quoted as saying.

    US neo-conservative Perle hopes
    Israel will attack Damascus

    Asked whether this would include US military action against Damascus, he said: “Everything’s possible.”
         
    Perle said it would not be difficult to commit forces to Syria despite heavy US troop commitments to Iraq, Afghanistan and the Korean peninsula, along with a continued presence in areas such as the Balkans and Liberia.

    “Syria is militarily very weak," he said. 
      
    Perle stepped down from his position as chair of the Pentagon's Defence Policy Board this spring, following allegations that he had used his position with the Pentagon to further business deals in Singapore and the United States. He is still a member of the board. 

    Perle said that the Bush administration's "road map" aimed at ending the Palestinian and Israel conflict had failed.

    SOURCE: Unspecified


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