Syria plays down US threat

A senior Syrian official has dismissed the possibility of a US attack on his country.

    Naji al-Itri: Iraq situation dissuaded US from attacking Syria

    Prime Minister Naji al-Itri told Egyptian media on Wednesday that the desperate situation in Iraq has dissuaded Washington from any attempt at military domination.
      
    "The situation on the ground shows that the Iraqi experience is proving to be a bitter one for the United States, and it must get out as cheaply as possible before thinking about declaring another front." 

    The Egyptian government newspaper, Al-Musawwar, also said the Syrian PM believes no invasion plan can be considered until after the November 2004 US presidential election.

    Political pressure

    But the US has pressured Damascus ever since the fall of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein.

    Washington has often accused Syria of letting armed men cross its border with Iraq to bolster resistance against US-led occupation forces.
      
    The US congress passed a bill levying economic and political sanctions against Syria on 12 November, a measure which now only requires the signature of President Bush to take effect.
      
    "The United States wants Syria to adopt a position supporting the American presence in Iraq, and this is impossible", al-Itri said, emphasising that Syria is against the occupation.
      
    The prime minister added that Iraqi resistance was made up of "Iraqi citizens who are fighting the occupation, despite all the accusations against those elements who are branded terrorists."

    SOURCE: Reuters


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