Sunday, October 09, 2005

US 'considered' strikes on Syria

AFP reports:

The United States debated launching military strikes inside Syria against camps used by insurgents operating in neighbouring Iraq, a US magazine reported overnight.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice successfully opposed the idea at a meeting of senior American officials held on October 1, Newsweek reported, citing unnamed US government sources.

Ms Rice reportedly argued that diplomatic isolation was a more effective approach, with a UN report pending that may blame Syria for the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.

The United States has accused Damascus of allowing insurgents to move arms and fighters across the Syrian border into Iraq and of destabilising the region.

The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said last month that "our patience is running out" with Syria.

The same article also reported that Syria had ended all security and intelligence cooperation with the United States several months ago after growing frustrated with persistent public criticism from Washington.