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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

April 10, 2003

UK sold chemicals, night-vision equipment to Syria

The British government, which operates an unofficial but extensive ban on military equipment to Israel, has supplied Syria with toxic acid that could be used to make chemical weapons and optical equipment that could provide troops with night-vision capability.

Syria Now Top U.S. Target for Regime Change - Toby Harnden (Telegraph-UK)
Some U.S. officials are convinced that Assad has actively collaborated with Saddam and agreed to take weapons, including Scud missiles, from him so they would not be discovered in Iraq by UN inspectors. Satellite photographs revealed heavily guarded convoys moving from Iraq to Syria last year. "Significant equipment, assets and perhaps even expertise was transferred, the first signs of which appeared in August or September 2002," a Bush administration official said. "It is quite possible that Iraqi nuclear scientists went to Syria and that Saddam's regime may retain part of its army there."

U.S. Says Syria Helping Iraqis Flee
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld charged on Wednesday that Syria might be helping Saddam Hussein's supporters to flee Iraq. "We are getting scraps of intelligence saying that Syria has been cooperative in facilitating the move of the people out of Iraq and into Syria," he told a news conference. "Then in some cases they stay there and find safekeeping there. In other cases they move them from Syria to some other places." "We also have seen in a number of instances people from Syria moving into Iraq, unhelpfully." (Reuters)

U.S. Warns Syria to Abandon WMD
A senior US official said on Wednesday that Syria, which Washington says is developing weapons of mass destruction and supports terrorism, should heed the lesson of the U.S.-led conflict in Iraq. "Syria is a good case where I hope they will conclude that the chemical weapons program (and) the biological weapons program they've been pursuing are things they should give up," said John Bolton, U.S. Undersecretary of State for Arms Control and International Security. "This is a wonderful opportunity for Syria to foreswear the pursuit of weapons of mass destruction," he said. (News24-South Africa)