War : Syria : U.S. increases provocations


Richard Moore



US agents infiltrate Syrian territory to blow up Syrian
cellular telephone communication tower in bid to cut off
al-Qa'im from outside world.

In a dispatch posted at 8:25pm Mecca time Tuesday night,
Mafkart al-Islam reported from al-Qa'im that US forces had
destroyed a Syrian cellular telephone signal tower on the
Syrian-Iraqi border in an attempt to cut communications
between Iraq and Syria.

The Mafkarat al-Islam correspondent in al-Qa'im reported
Syrian Bedouin tribes in the border areas around al-Bu
Kamal as saying that US forces used their "lackeys" to
blow up the communications tower.

The correspondent reported that the Syrian cell telephone
service, which had been widely and actively used by
residents of al-Qa'im, was cut off about an hour before he
filed his report when unknown individuals infiltrated into
Syrian territory and blew up the telephone communications

The report was confirmed by a number of Iraqis who now
live near the border having fled from the savage US
bombing of al-Qa'im.


US Severs Most Contacts with Syria, Officials Say 
By Farah Stockman and Thanassis Cambanis 
The Boston Globe 

Tuesday 08 November 2005 
Washington debate reported over idea of 'regime change.'

Washington - The United States has cut off nearly all
contact with the Syrian government as the Bush
administration steps up a campaign to weaken and isolate
President Bashar Assad's government, according to U.S. and
Syrian officials.

The United States has halted high-level diplomatic
meetings, limited military coordination on Syria's border
with Iraq and ended dialogue with Syria's Finance Ministry
on amending its banking laws to block terrorist financing.
In recent months, as distrust between the two countries
widened, the United States also declined a proposal from
Syria to revive intelligence cooperation with Syria,
according to Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad
Moustapha, and a U.S. official.

The new era of hostility flows from U.S. frustration at
what it considers Syria's failure to effectively control
its border with Iraq and continued support for radical
Palestinian groups that threaten the chances of peace in

The U.S.-Syrian confrontation has sharpened just as Syria
is also facing pressure from many Arab and European
governments - as well as the United States - over Syria's
suspected role in the assassination of the former prime
minister of Lebanon, Rafik Hariri.

On Monday, the United Nations asked to interview six top
Syrian officials regarding the assassination, including
Assad's brother-in-law, said a Foreign Ministry official
who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to
speak to journalists.

Some U.S. officials say privately that there is now an
active debate about whether "regime change" should be a
U.S. goal. Publicly, administration officials say that
they want to see a change in behavior.

But Syrian officials say they have made progress on many
U.S. demands, including stepping up patrols along the
Iraqi border, and that it is the United States that has
broken promises to cooperate. Syrians say that powerful
neoconservative policymakers in Washington have long hoped
to topple their government in a bid to transform the
Middle East.

"What we see in general is an administration that is
categorically refusing to engage with Syria on any level,"
Moustapha said. "We see an administration that would
really love to see another crisis in the Middle East, this
time targeting Syria. ... Even before the Iraq war
started, they had this grand vision for the Middle East."

Despite their disputes, the two countries worked together
on counterterrorism efforts following the Sept. 11

The danger posed by al Qaeda was one thing that both
governments could agree on: Syria's secular leaders, who
are from a minority Alawite sect, consider al Qaeda and
other Sunni fundamentalists dangerous political rivals for
the Syrian populace, a majority of whom are Sunni.

Syria halted intelligence cooperation after the 2003
invasion of Iraq. Meanwhile, U.S. officials say Syria must
make a strategic decision to completely change its ways -
like Libya did - or risk being cut off from the world.
"There have been repeated and numerous high-level attempts
to engage the Syrian government," said State Department
spokesman Sean McCormack. "Yet they have failed to act."



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