- Jul 31, 2005
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
NEW YORK (AFP) - The United States recently debated launching military strikes inside
Syria against camps used by insurgents operating in neighboring
Iraq, a US magazine reported.
US Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice successfully opposed the idea at a meeting of senior American officials held on October 1, Newsweek reported, citing unnamed US government sources.
Rice reportedly argued that diplomatic isolation was a more effective approach, with a UN report pending that may blame Syria for the assassination of former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri.
The United States has accused Damascus of allowing insurgents to move arms and fighters across the Syrian border into Iraq and of destabilizing the region.
US troops in Iraq have been waging an offensive in recent weeks against insurgents in western towns near the Syrian border.
The US ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, said last month that "our patience is running out" with Syria.
Syria's ambassador to the United States, Imad Moustapha, told Newsweek that his government continued to detain Islamic extremists and remained willing to resume cooperation if the public bashing stopped.
"We are willing to re-engage the moment you want but one condition," the magazine quotes Moustapha as saying.
"You have to acknowledge that we are helping."
The magazine reported that some US intelligence officials believed Washington now was losing out on vital information. Syrian cooperation in the last few years allegedly had helped avert two possible attacks against US targets, including a Navy base in Bahrain.
One unnamed intelligence official told the magazine that US pressure on the Syrian leadership could prove counter-productive and that Washington may be "radicalizing the country."