RIYADH - Syrian authorities have detained 137 Saudis after they attempted to cross into Iraq from Syria to take part in the anti-US insurgency there, a newspaper reported Thursday.
The would-be infiltrators are held in various Syrian prisons, said Al-Watan, which published the names of 17 of the detainees.
Quoting "informed sources," the paper said Syrian authorities released other Saudis after ascertaining they had no plans to infiltrate into Iraq.
US Central Command chief General John Abizaid charged in remarks published by a Kuwaiti newspaper Thursday that Syria had ignored US demands to stop foreign fighters crossing the border into Iraq and "terrorists" operating from Syrian territory.
The United States accuses Syria of backing terrorism and seeking to destabilize Iraq, but Damascus denies the charges.