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.


New report accuses Syria of chemical attack in Qmenas village

For second day, Iraq forces clash with ISIS in Kirkuk

Battles rage in Yemen despite three-day truce

Turkey PM warns EU: Turkey has alternatives!

Food crisis reaching critical levels north of South Sudan

Turkey hits Kurdish group in Syria again

Kremlin aims to 'liberate' Syria with Assad in power

Egypt court upholds 20-year sentence for Morsi

Islamic Jihad stages show of force in Gaza

UN says 'crimes' in Aleppo are 'of historic proportions'

IS sniper kills Iraqi journalist in Kirkuk

US official says coalition should target IS in Raqa after Mosul

Moscow extends Aleppo ceasefire

Italy PM says officials should have voted against UNESCO Jerusalem resolution

Syrian ‘Toy Smuggler’ accused of fraud

UN: IS may use civilians as human shields in Mosul

Armed men attack refugee boat off Libya

US says will work with Turkey to deal IS 'lasting defeat'

Moscow ‘highly concerned’ at jihadists’ refusal to leave Aleppo

Four Palestinians arrested by their security forces for settlement visit

Mauritania president says no change to two-term limit

UN delays Aleppo evacuations due to lack of security assurances

Oman denies reports of arms smuggling to Yemen

Israel looking to buy three more German submarines

83 migrants rescued off Cyprus

Under pressure in Mosul, IS fighters attack Kirkuk

Air strikes hit Yemen rebels despite ceasefire

US officials: Iran boosting arms sales to Huthis via Oman

Iraq forces make gains against IS near Mosul

Arab coalition accuses Yemen rebels of breaching truce

Italian PM blocks EU sanctions threat against Russia over Aleppo

Pentagon chief in Turkey for talks on tensions with Iraq

Israeli occupation troops kill Palestinian teenager

Iraqis flee IS-held Mosul for war-torn Syria

Five years after his death, Kadhafi's 'Green Book' is ridiculed in Libya

Iraq issues warrant for former governor of Mosul

EU leaders threaten sanctions against Assad allies

Syria army urges residents to evacuate Aleppo during ceasefire

British warships shadow Syria-bound Russian naval force

Turkey unexpectedly keeps interest rate steady

British PM urges united EU response to Russia over Syria 'atrocities'

UN gets ‘green light’ from all parties for Aleppo evacuations

Iran president: we must be hospitable to foreign businessmen

British Al-Jazeera reporter freed in Somalia

Turkish planes raid US-backed Kurdish militias