How Syria is Working Against the U.S. in Iraq

Editorial (Wall Street Journal) - Foreign fighters in Iraq interviewed by Western media say they received training in light weapons, explosives, and hit-and-run operations at camps in Syria. In April, Jordanian intelligence captured an al-Qaeda cell, apparently trained in Syria, as it planned a chemical-weapons attack in Amman. Syria continues openly to support Hizballah. It also gives sanctuary to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other anti-Israel terrorist groups. U.S. officials tend to say things like "Syria needs to do a lot more" to stop terrorist infiltration, as if Syria is doing anything at all. In May, President Bush ordered sanctions on Syria under Congress's Syria Accountability Act of 2003. But U.S. trade with Syria was already minimal, so the sanctions had little effect, and even that was offset by a trade deal the EU reached with Damascus the same month. Much of the problem is that the Syrians don't take U.S. threats seriously. Assad's calculation is that the U.S. is too tied down in Iraq to entertain any action against Syria. Yet the fact remains that Syria is providing material support to terrorist groups killing American soldiers in Iraq while openly calling on Iraqis to join the "resistance." In 1998 the Turks threatened to invade Syria to end the terrorist campaign against it by the Kurdish PKK and Assad capitulated, showing that there are ways to get the message across to the Syrian regime.

2004-12-15 00:00:00

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