Syria Seen Stepping Up Aid to Iraq-Bound Insurgents

(Washington Times) Rowan Scarborough - Syrians are increasing assistance to foreign fighters preparing to enter Iraq and kill civilians and U.S. troops, despite months of pressure on Damascus from Washington to crack down on the jihadists. A U.S. official said recent intelligence shows that Syria is the home to Web sites that exhort militants to come to the country for preparation to fight and die in Iraq. Syrians also are providing barracks-like housing as the recruits from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Morocco, and other Muslim countries prepare for jihad, or holy war. The fighters also receive weapons, training, and money in Syria. U.S. officials say it is impossible for hundreds of jihadists to move in and out of Syria on a weekly basis without the government's approval. Last week, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said, "It's up to Syria's neighbors, including Iraq, to interact with Syria in a way that helps them understand the damage they're doing to the region."

2005-07-07 00:00:00

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