Tuesday, April 15, 2003 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Syrian Expert Patrick Seale and Columbia University...

U.S. Sets Its Eyes On Syria: Washington Diplomatically and Economically Threatens Iraq’s Neighbor As the Region’s Newest "Rogue State"

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“So now Syria is in America’s gun sights. First it’s Iraq, Israel’s most powerful enemy, possessor of weapons of mass destruction–none of which has been found. Now it’s Syria, Israel’s second most powerful enemy, possessor of weapons of mass destruction, or so President George Bush Junior tells us. No word of that possessor of real weapons of mass destruction, Israel–the number of its nuclear warheads in the Negev are now accurately listed–whose Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, has long been complaining that Damascus is the "centre of world terror".

That was Robert Fisk in today’s Independent.

The US yesterday threatened Syria with diplomatic and economic pressure, as a series of top officials accused Damascus of supporting terrorism.

War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld alleged Syria had carried out chemical weapons tests over the past 12 to 15 months.

"Rogue State" is how White House spokesman Ari Fleischer described Syria.

And Secretary of State Gen. Colin hinted economic sanctions against Syria might be in order.

Meanwhile at the United Nations, Secretary-General Kofi Annan warned last night that recent U.S. warnings to Syria could contribute to a wider destabilization in a region already wracked by the war in Iraq.

Syria has denied Washington’s accusations. They have called it an attempt to obscure the events in Iraq and yesterday accused Israel of being behind the weapons and terrorism accusations.

  • Gen. Colin Powell, Secretary of State.
  • Patrick Seale, British journalist who has covered the Middle East for over 30 years specializing in Syria. He is the author of "Asad: The Struggle for the Middle East."
  • Scott C. Davis, publisher of CUNE Press and author of The Road From Damascus: A Journey Through Syria. He recently returned from Syria where he was during the first 10 days of the U.S. invasion.

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