U.S. Believes Syrian Banks Hold $3 Billion in Iraqi Funds

(New York Times) - American investigators have evidence that $3 billion that belonged to Saddam Hussein's government is being held in Syrian-controlled banks in Syria and Lebanon, Bush administration officials say. A delegation led by the Treasury Department has spent nearly two weeks in Damascus trying to win access to accounts established by the former Iraqi government or its confederates. Syria has promised to cooperate, but has so far failed to do so. The officials said they were concerned that money left in Syrian banks might be used to finance attacks on American forces inside Iraq. About $495 million of the money is in Syrian-controlled banks in Lebanon, while some $500 million more is in banks in Jordan, which is expected to return the money to the Iraq development fund. At least as much money, and perhaps more, may be in banks in Turkey.

2003-10-21 00:00:00

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