U.S. Said to Weigh Sanctions on Syria Over Iraqi Network

(New York Times) The Bush administration is considering imposing new sanctions on Syria to prod it to crack down on Iraqis there who are providing financial and logistical support to insurgents in Iraq, senior American counterterrorism officials said Tuesday. On a visit to Syria over the weekend, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage delivered what one American official described as a "stern warning" to the Damascus government. A senior American counterterrorism official said, "More and more, we're seeing groups funded and supported by former regime elements, and they are operating out of and with the support of the Syrian government." "We haven't yet seen them take appropriate action to prevent the funding and the transport of weapons," he said. Fatiq Suleiman al-Majid, a cousin of Mr. Hussein and a former officer in Iraq's Special Security Organization, is among those who have spent time in Syria and are believed to have played a leading role in financing the insurgency. A second counterterrorism official said the Pentagon in particular was pressing for a more aggressive approach against Syria, while the State Department was opposed. "This is not the Ho Chi Minh trail that's keeping the insurgency alive," the official said. "But if Syria were to take action, it would have an impact."

2005-01-05 00:00:00

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