First Published: 2005-02-17

 
Rumsfeld accuses Syria of harming US efforts in Iraq
 

US Defense Secretary says Syria’s behavior is harmful to US efforts to stabilize Iraq, establish democracy.

 

Middle East Online

WASHINGTON - US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld charged Wednesday that Syria's behavior is "harmful" to US efforts to stabilize Iraq and establish a democracy.

Rumsfeld's comments came in testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee, only a day after the State Department recalled its ambassador to Damascus for consultations in the wake of the assassination in Beirut of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

Syria has vehemently denied suggestions that it was responsible for Hariri's killing in a car bombing Tuesday.

"They're harmful to what we're trying to do," Rumsfeld said of the Syrians.

"They're holding Iraqi assets and refuse to release them. They have harbored Baathists in their country. They are occupying Lebanon. They are facilitating, with Iran, the Hezbollah into Lebanon and Israel," he said.

During the US invasion of Iraq, he said, Syria allowed busloads of jihadists into Iraq to try to defeat US forces.

"And they've been unhelpful," Rumsfeld said. "They're not a country that is cooperating and it's harmful to what we're trying to do."

Rumsfeld said President George W. Bush and successive secretaries of state have tried to persuade Damascus to "behave in a way that was consistent with other civilized nations."

"And they, thus far, have been unwilling to do it," he said.

 

Iraq’s peshmerga ‘break’ Mount Sinjar siege

Yemen’s Huthis seize Sanaa state offices

Tough times for oil-rich GCC

Obama concerned about Egypt mass trials

Tumbling oil prices cut budgets of Mideast arms exporters

Turkey acquits sociologist over 1998 explosion

EU foreign affairs head to visit Iraq

Turkey court remands Samanyolu TV chief in custody

IS threatens to kill Lebanese soldiers held hostage

Turkish media chiefs charged with terrorism

Iraq may delay payment of Kuwait war reparations

Over $900 million needed to help Syria children

Saudi rules out oil output reduction

Dutch populist lawmaker to be tried for 'fewer Moroccans' vow

Outrage in Algeria over Islamist call for Algerian author's death

Iraq Kurds, coalition launch offensive to retake Sinjar

Three years to end Israeli occupation in UN resolution

Somalia appoints new PM after bitter infighting

Blow to Israel: EU court removes Hamas from terror blacklist

Sharp rise in Syria passport applications

Turkey FM visit to Iran highlights Syria divide

UK troops mistreated Iraq detainees in 2004

Saudi to carry on massive public spending

Iran to Australia: We warned you about the gunman

From bikini to Jihad in Ceuta, Melilla

Tunisia votes Sunday in second round of presidential poll

Islamist militias launch air strike near key Libyan oil terminals

Egypt refers 312 Islamists to military courts

Turkey rejects EU criticism over media arrests

Kerry meets chief Palestinian negotiator

Saudi cleric sparks uproar for showing wife’s face

15,000 march against country’s ‘Islamisation’ in eastern Germany

Key oil producers face uncertain outlook in 2015

Gulf stock markets tumble

Australia mourns Sydney cafe siege victims

Hostages flee as police storm Sydney café

Erdogan to EU: Mind your own business!

Syria PM in Iran for talks with key ally

22 Swiss jihadists fighting abroad

#illridewithyou: Australians stand in solidarity with Muslims

Sydney siege 'lone wolf' or IS-led attack?

EU support UN efforts for Aleppo ceasefire

Saudi policeman killed in Riyadh hostage-taking

Saudi king receives Jordan monarch

Palestinians push UN bid to end Israeli occupation