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10/20/03 - SYRIA SUPPORTS TERRORISM - 2003-10-20


Earlier this month, Israel bombed the Ein Sahab terrorist training camp inside Syria. The Israeli action was in response to a suicide bombing at a restaurant in Haifa, Israel, that killed nineteen people, both Jews and Arabs.

The Syrian regime continues to be a major supporter of terrorist groups. U.S. State Department spokesman Richard Boucher says that, so far, talking with Syria has not been fruitful:

“If Syria is going to take serious action against terrorists, if it’s going to take serious action against the groups that are trying to disrupt the peace, if it’s going to take action against the people who are trying to disrupt the Palestinian cause, then there’s ample opportunity for dialogue.”

Instead, says Mr. Boucher, Syria continues to support terrorists:

“The record of Syria, unfortunately, is one of failure to take firm action against terrorist groups that operate from Syria and that, despite our repeated requests, still have people in operations in Syria; a failure to crack down on terrorist training is occurring in Syria; a failure to crack down on transshipments that occur through Syria; and failure to crack down on the support that comes from Syria for a variety of terrorist groups in the region, including Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad -- the very kind of people that carry out attacks.”

Syria needs to stop harboring and supporting terrorists. And as White House spokesman Scott McClellan put it: “That message has been sent loud and clear.”

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