Conversation Corner
St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Peace

Does the military action the U.S. is contemplating against Iraq meet the standards of a just war?


Date: 3/28/2003 6:29:47 PM
Name or Pseudonym: Shoshana
Subject: Assad: Syria won’t wait to become US ...


Assad: Syria won’t wait to become US target.
David Rudge

The mufti of Syria is reportedly calling on mMslims to carry out suicide attacks against American and British forces in Iraq.

According to reports from Syria, the mufti announced in a statement that this was a religious obligation on the part of all Muslims, be they Sunnis or Shi’ites.

The apparent call by the religious leader in Damascus coincided with comments by Syrian President Bashar Assad expressing concern over Syria possibly being on America’s next target after Iraq.

Assad said in an interview with the pro-Syrian Lebanese daily As-Safir ’would not want to become a target,’ although he did not elaborate.

There have been widespread demonstrations in Syria against the US-led war on Iraq, and the government-controlled press has been consistently expressed its opposition to the assault to topple the Ba’athist regime of President Saddam Hussein.

Observers, however, said that although Syria was increasing its rhetoric, it appeared for the time being at least that it was remaining on the sidelines.

Western diplomatic sources told the Jerusalem Post on Thursday that there were no unusual Syrian troop movements or any other signs of military activity.

In the newspaper interview, Assad denounced the assault on Iraq, saying it was a move from which Israel would benefit because it supported the fragmentation of Iraq. He also charged that Syria would continue to be under threat as long as Israel exists.

He expressed concern over the attack on a country that borders Syria, and also criticized Arab countries that are supporting the war and are actually helping the invaders.

Assad stressed, however, that Iraq has not asked for any military aid, so Syria was giving political support only.

Regarding the Palestinians, Assad said the intifada will continue regardless of any ’road map’ to peace, or pressure from Arab countries to end the violence.

Observers said that Assad’s comments appeared to be aimed at his home audience, to counter criticism from Egypt that Syria is covertly assisting the coalition forces in Iraq.


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