U.S. DRAFTS PLANS AGAINST SYRIA
Washington DC, September 28, 2004 /By MENL/ -- The Bush administration has drafted contingency plans meant to increase military pressure on Syria.
Officials said that after two years of debate the White House has ordered a range of U.S. options against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. They said the administration has determined that diplomacy failed to resolve U.S. concerns regarding Syrian policy on such issues as Iraq, weapons of mass destruction, Lebanon and support for groups deemed terrorist.
The administration has concluded that Syria has been working to destabilize the interim government in Iraq, officials said. They said the Assad regime has been harboring senior operatives of Abu Mussib Al Zarqawi, regarded as the most lethal insurgent in Iraq, aides to Saddam Hussein as well as Iraqi nuclear scientists as part of a Syrian policy coordinated with Iran.
Officials warned that unless Syria changes its policy within the next few weeks, the administration would consider economic and military measures against Damascus that would intensify in 2005. They said the Defense Department has drafted a range of military options meant to put Damascus on the defensive and encourage insurrection within Syria.